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Getting the Insider's Story Out: What Popular Film Can Tell Us about Legal Method's Dirty Secrets
Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice
  • Rebecca Johnson
  • Ruth Buchanan
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2001
Abstract

In this paper, the authors seek to use the insights gained by viewing and thinking critically about a range of Hollywood films to better illuminate the disciplinary blindspots of law. Both law and film are viewed as social institutions, engaged in telling stories about social life. Hollywood films are often critical of law and legal institutions. Law is dismissive of its representation within popular culture. However, the authors argue that law disregards cinematic cynicism about itself at its peril and that there is much to learn by taking cinematic portrayals of law very seriously---not as representations of the truth of law, but as analogies for how law itself operates in constructing truth. Indeed, the authors conclude by arguing that law requires a better conception of itself as a culturally productive institution. Law, like film, is not simply engaged in the finding of truth, but also more fundamentally in the making of meaning.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Citation Information
Buchanan, Ruth and Johnson, Rebecca, "Getting the Insider's Story Out: What Popular Film Can Tell Us about Legal Method's Dirty Secrets" Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 19 (2001): 87-110.