COMING SOON: Power and Subversion: Is the Film Industry Unique?

Categorized as Alleged Conflict of Interest, Community Posts

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One of our next articles will delve into the research of Politics and Power as a consequence of human nature and social dynamics, by examining the work of scientists and philosophers such a Michel Foucault.

Foucault challenged the traditional view that power is something exerted by individuals or groups through clear acts of control or oppression. Instead, he sees power as something more diffuse and widespread. According to him, “Power is everywhere” and “comes from everywhere,” suggesting that it’s not about a specific entity or structure. For Foucault, power acts more like an overarching influence or a “regime of truth” that permeates society, always evolving and being negotiated. He introduces the concept of “power/knowledge” to highlight how power is intertwined with and shaped by the accepted knowledge, scientific insights, and what is considered ‘truth’ in society.

In the context of the film industry, power/knowledge is expressed by the actual power of “decision makers” to decide which filmmakers, producers or projects, are selected for funding, festival selection, and awards. “knowledge” in this context is the permeating “truth” of festival selections and awards as an indicator for the merit (or sometimes “genius”) of a specific work of art or artists, or that specific festivals hold “the truth” in selecting the best films, or that films selected by certain festivals hold higher artistic value than those not selected by those festivals, or those not selected at all, and more.

In the film industry power/knowledge flows from, and by, the organizations that make it and those individuals who work for them and control them, for the accumulation and distribution of resources (e.g – money) and power (e.g – ‘decision maker’ status, employment in organizations higher in the power/knowledge hierarchy, etc)

The table below is a visualization of some of these theoretical ideas, and how the are manifested in the film industry on a day to day basis.

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