Framing 'Shirkers' as a first person documentary

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Shirkers (2018) is a documentary about the mysterious personal experience of Sandi Tan, the filmmaker herself. Documentaries often communicate reality to viewers with a collage of substantial materials and purposeful visual techniques. How audiences construct meaning through non-fictional and fictional signals in a documentary is intricate and multi-dimensional, especially when the truth is subjectively presented by the filmmaker.

In the case of Shirkers, how viewers perceive the reality of Sandi’s narration is intriguing and will be discussed. By defining Shirkers (2018) as a first-person documentary, this paper adopts a three-level cognitive frame to investigate how textual, contextual, and real-world referential signals are framed in audiences' perception of the truth of Shirkers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg University
PublisherDiggit Magazine
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2019


  • Film
  • Documentary
  • Asian


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