Reading Response #5

For this weeks reading response i chose to write about “Why are Ethical Issues Central to Documentary Filmmaking”, by Nichols. He begins the chapter by saying all films are documentaries and describes the two types of film: (1) documentaries of wish fulfillment and (2) documentaries of social representation. Documentaries of wish fulfillment are usually fiction and they give tangible expression to our wishes, dreams, nightmares, and dreads. Documentaries of social representation are usually non-fiction and they give tangible representation to aspects of the world we already inhabit and share. Nichols goes on to explain that both types of films call on us to interpret and believe them. Documentaries engage with the world in three ways: (1) by offering us a likeness or depiction of the world that bears a recognizable familiarities, (2) standing for or representing the interests of others, and (3) representing the world in the same way a lawyer would represent a client’s interests. This relates to the course material as we are learning about the progress of films overtime and how certain films are classified. We have learned about different types of films but this week we learned more about documentary films. This reading talks about how all films are actually documentaries and how they tell a story in one way or another. I can relate to this because i agree with the two ways Nichols classifies films.