The original question was about the use of the word idiots in Las Hurdes.
I have written a paper about this film and affectivity. In speaking about
the narration I wondered what force the word idiots would have in 1932, in
Spain and about how the audience might respond to the pictures of "idiots"
and "choirs of idiots".
Is the audience more offended by this today? Or would the historical
spectator's reaction be the same as ours -- it might be seen as very bad
manners. I see it as part of a shock effect aimed at the audience, and
also part of a critique of documentary narration.
A linguist friend of mine says that he thinks that the words would have had
less force then than now. "Idiocy" was a word used to describe a medical
condition and one might see the "scientific" narrator just describing what
he sees in medical terms.
Any help would be appreciated.
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