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Humphrey Jennings$
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Keith Beattie

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078552

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078552.001.0001

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(p.132) 7 Legacies
Humphrey Jennings

Keith Beattie

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the legacies of Jennings' films in relation to the history and memory of the British home front during World War II; a number of trends and specific works from the field of film and television; and ongoing questions of national identity and patriotism. Although Jennings' films may not seem directly dedicated to one's dilemmas, they can still stir and inspire with their imaginative and moral impulse, and continue to do so precisely because they continue in various ways to raise issues relevant to the present. However, within acknowledgments of the importance of Jennings' films to the history of documentary representation, certain assessments of his filmmaking have unintentionally denied legacies by arguing that his work is too idiosyncratic for emulation. This may well be the case when referring to Jennings' use of collage and ambiguity, formal characteristics that are not commonly copied or duplicated in documentary filmmaking.

Keywords:   legacy, World War II, patriotism, moral impulse, documentary representation

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