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Real to ReelA New Approach to Understanding Realism in Film and TV Fiction$
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Martin Sohn-Rethel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780993071768

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780993071768.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Code of Discursive or Ideological Truth

The Code of Discursive or Ideological Truth

(p.183) 8: The Code of Discursive or Ideological Truth
Real to Reel

Martin Sohn-Rethel

Liverpool University Press

This chapter studies the realism code of discursive or ideological truth, which marks out films where questions of personal identity link to messages and values about power or lack of power in society. It is the battle of ideas in constructing individual and social reality that assumes a dominant role here. Realism under this code can assume whatever guise a film maker chooses in order to highlight the interplay and struggle of contesting ideas. A prime example of this can be found in Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989). Do the Right Thing is a film of ideas which refuses to tell its audience what to think. And this is in large part why it is such an effective vehicle of ideological realism. The other reason is that it does not pull its punches; its ideas penetrate right through to the economic, cultural, and political roots of ethnic inequality and disharmony: to the acute power imbalance triggered by ethnic identity. The chapter also looks at Michael Haneke's Hidden (2005) and The White Ribbon (2009).

Keywords:   discursive realism, ideological truth, ideological realism, personal identity, social reality, Do the Right Thing, Michael Haneke

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