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The Representations of HIV/AIDS in Québec Cinema, 1986-1996

Bailey, Andrew Gordon (2016) The Representations of HIV/AIDS in Québec Cinema, 1986-1996. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis represents the first comprehensive study of how film was employed in the Canadian province of Québec to reflect upon the AIDS crisis prior to the introduction of combination therapy. Chapter One establishes how the unique threats posed by HIV to the physical and moral integrity of individuals and societies incites potentially divisive reactions that perpetuate harmful understandings of HIV and those it touches. In contrast, the creative medium of film offers a flexible framework for meditation in which the significations of HIV can be explored and confronted constructively and inclusively. Québec, owing to its historical situation, its distinctive and vibrant cinematic heritage and status as a hub for HIV/AIDS-related activity and solidarity, represents a rich microcosm of the different social, political and creative dynamics at play within the AIDS crisis. Chapter Two establishes how documentary can enact objective investigations of the AIDS crisis that methodically deconstruct prevalent misconceptions of HIV and People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs). These intellectual studies are also juxtaposed with subjective material that evokes the emotional aspects of the crisis. Chapter Three illustrates how testimonial film can catalyse the interrogation by PLWHAs of their relationship with their HIV-positive status. Through the process of filmmaking, PLWHAs can better comprehend the trauma provoked by their status and form friendships and communities built on the discursive and cathartic act of sharing. Chapter Four explains how feature film, exploiting the popular mechanisms of storytelling and characterisation, can bring considerations of HIV to both niche and broader audiences, potentially provoking far-reaching contemplations of the virus. The thesis concludes by summarising how, thanks to its idiosyncratic filmic tradition, Québec’s cinematic representations of HIV/AIDS were varied and revealing, questioning and nuancing problematic understandings of HIV and PLWHAs and successfully investigating the AIDS crisis as a local and global phenomenon of human proportions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > French (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.707055
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Gordon Bailey
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2017 11:09
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16691

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