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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ian McDonald
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Justin is a thirty-minute documentary about memory, memorializing and the politics of sport. The film focuses on the launch and the first year of an anti-homophobia campaign in football. This campaign was launched to mark the ten anniversary of the death by suicide of Justin Fashanu and was designed to challenge the silence about homophobia in football. The film intersperses expressive and pivotal moments from the campaign with memories of the life and death of Fashanu from members of his family, from close friends and fans and from the coach who discovered him. Justin constitutes a highly reflexive visual ethnography of protest in sport. The film itself emerged out of the desire of a Brighton-based gay footballer determined to break the silence surrounding the life and death of Fashanu. That led to an approach to myself as a filmmaker already known to him (as he featured in a documentary I had previously made about a gay football team). As a filmmaker, I respond by searching for an appropriate structure and context for such a film. The idea for a campaign is born. The Justin Campaign is actualized in the making of the film. Conceived as a form of activist-video practice, the key research question explored is how memory and memorializing (in this case of Justin Fashanu through personal testimonies and a campaign) can be combined to construct an affective and therefore a more effective campaign film. As a visual ethnography of protest interlaced with personal memories of Fashanu, Justin constitutes a critique of both the observational documentary tradition, as well as the didacticism of much activist filmmaking.
Author(s): McDonald I
Publication type: Digital or Visual Media
Publication status: Published
Source Publication Date: First screening: July 2011
Series Editor(s): Produced by Geetha J
Contents: Justin is a 30 minute documentary about homophobia in football.
Place Published: Brighton UK
Type: DVD and USB portfolio
Credits: Directed filmed and edited by Ian McDonald. Additional camera by James Marcus Tucker
Notes: Justin has been screened at many international film festivals, campaign meetings and academic conferences (including the American Sociological Association) around the world.