The Internet 's Own Boy By Aaron Swartz

1374 Words6 Pages
There is no doubt that the power of language is a major component in influencing Australia’s contemporary society. Documentary film texts such as Brian Knappenberger’s 2014 expository style documentary ‘The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz’ as well as Alex Gibney’s 2013, ‘We Steal Secrets’, position Australian audiences to feel a certain way about privileged social and cultural issues. The texts do this through their use of language features and devices such as editing, non-diegetic sound, emotive language. Through the texts incorporation of these language features and devices, they are able to appeal to our societies values of the truth and anti-authoritarianism.

The true power of language in Australian contemporary society
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This anti-authoritarianism has stemmed from the Irish, who made up close to one third of the colonies that came to Australia in 1788. There are many historic pieces that highlight Irish heritage as a major reason for Australia’s anti-authoritarian traits and values, and an example of this is Professor Thomas Bartlett’s article on the Irish rebellion of 1798. According to Barlett, ‘The Irish rebelled against government, and this lead to weeks of rioting and social un-rest.’ The ideology that government figures were not the be all and end all of society bled into Australian culture, and so to this day, we remain strong in our anti-authoritarian values. Because of the documentary’s appeal to this traditional Australian value, through its use of non- diagetic sound, we align ourselves with the documentaries major reading: To see the secrecy and idiocy of government. It is clear that Knappenberger’s ability to position his audience comes largely from his incorporation language features throughout his documentary, this inturn highlights the true power that language features have on Australia’s Contemporary society.

Similarly, Gibney’s documentary, ‘We Steal Secrets’, positions Australian audiences to align with the documentary’s major reading: To see the secrecy of government, through their use of editing. Andy Grieve, the editor of the documentary, positions the viewer through his selection of sequenced clips. In the film,
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