There’s a great essay in The Public Humanist, the Mass Humanities blog, by Carolyn Shadid Lewis (Film & Video Fellow ’11). In the essay, Carolyn discusses her use of hand-drawn, stop-motion animation in two nonfiction films, From Twilight Til Dawn (watch an excerpt, above), and her in-progress film Seams, which explores the untold stories of Irish women in the Second World War.
Carolyn discusses her animation as a way of sharing difficult personal histories while leaving room for the ambiguities of memory and imagination of the viewer:
I hope that the animation will serve as an imaginary documentation of the women’s experience of history, allowing us to bear witness to their memory of the past from the hazy vantage point of the present moment.
(Animation)… initiates a creative space for the viewer to actively employ their own imagination in the film, promoting an empathetic and tender response to the stories being told. Animation in non-fiction filmmaking allows for a poetic interweaving of imagination and memory.