ABSTRACT

If moving images constitute weapons in contemporary warfare, as was argued in Chapter 1, then it is necessary to understand the nature of moving-image media – in a sense, how the key weapon of contemporary war works and what forms it can take. To understand the effects of an instrument and how it can be used, it is necessary to identify its main elements. This is the purpose of this chapter, which considers the evolution in relations between moving-image media and war, from the first footage of war onward, examining also the different dominant forms which moving-image media can take – notably the major film forms (feature fiction, television news, and current affairs and documentary). The chapter then proceeds to examine the nature of the moving image weapon itself, extending from the understanding of context established into analysis of narrative in the moving image context – the essence of how the media function and how their content is framed. Finally, the chapter explores what can be gained from the study of moving-image media in relation to war, concluding that study of these media enhances examination of war and particular wars, and that the relationship has become central in twenty-first-century warfare.