The article discusses the use and post-production treatment of footage shot by Dutch filmmaker Louis  van Gasteren in his documentary Because My Bike Stood There (1966). The images depict a young man being beaten up by the police during a clash between the forces of order and people waiting to enter a photo exhibition on, ironically, police violence that had occurred about ten days earlier in Amsterdam. Van Gasteren combines the footage with an interview in which the victim explains that he had seen the exhibition and wanted to pass in order to walk over to his bike, when the policemen attacked him. Van Gasteren used slow-motion and thus enhanced the effect of the images illustrating the young man’s narrative, a strategy used twenty-five years later by the defence lawyers during the infamous Rodney King trial. This raises the issue of how documentary footage is discursively framed to enhance its persuasive effect. Van Gasteren’s film is not only an important historical document, it also invites to reflect on the status of “visible evidence” ascribed to documentary footage.

documentary, Louis van Gasteren, Rodney King, visible evidence
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-SA 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 7, No 13 (2018): Europe’s Audiovisual Heritage; 55-59

Kessler, Frank. (2018). Because His Bike Stood There: Visual Documents, Visible Evidence and the Discourse of Documentary. VIEW Journal, 7(13), 55–59. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2018.jethc141