Screening the Law in China: Law, Image and Evidence in Three Documentaries on HIV/AIDS Cases by Ai Xiaoming

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This article examines three films by the Chinese feminist scholar and documentary filmmaker Ai Xiaoming on the HIV blood scandal in China, in which victims who became infected with the human immunodeficiency virus through blood donations and blood transfusions often failed to obtain compensation from the government or the law courts. The law fails to ensure a just outcome. Drawing on the recent work of scholars working on law and image, and especially new scholarship on the relationship between law, film, affect and ethics, this article argues that Ai's documentaries present a series of imagistic evidence against the law, and in doing so puts the law on trial.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2012

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  • Law and Humanities is a peer-reviewed journal, providing a for for scholarly discourse within the arts and humanities around the subject of law. For this purpose, the arts and humanities disciplines are taken to include literature, history (including history of art), philosophy, theology, classics and the whole spectrum of performance and representational arts. The remit of the journal does not extend to consideration of the laws that regulate practical aspects of the arts and humanities (such as the law of intellectual property). Law and Humanities is principally concerned to engage with those aspects of human experience which are not empirically quantifiable or scientifically predictable.
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