Reading Response #5

This reading begins by clarifying that there are two types of films and their definitions, and that every film is a technically a documentary. One type are documentaries of wish-fulfillment, which are your feature films for example, or any fictional film. The other type are documentaries of social interpretation, which are your non-fiction films that express representation of the real world we all share. This type of documentary is important because we don’t only take pleasure from watching but direction as well, because they lend us the ability to see timely issues in need of attention. Viewing these films put before us social issues and current events, recurring problems, and possible solutions happening before the camera in the real world.

The reading claims that Documentaries represents and engages with the reality in 3 different ways. First, documentaries offer us a likeness or depiction of the world that bears a recognizably familiarity. This basically means that through using our recording instruments, we see people, places, and things that we may see ourselves outside of the film. Because of this quality, this proves that what we see before the camera is 100% true. Second, documentaries also stand for or represent in the interests of others. The filmmakers behind these documentaries take on the roll of public representatives by speaking for the interests of others, both for the individuals they are representing, and for the institution that is backing their filmmaking activity. Lastly, documentaries may represent the world in the same way a lawyer may represent a client’s interest, because they put the case for a particular view or interpretation of evidence before us. Documentaries do not simply stand for others, they also more actively make a case or argument. They document the activity of nature in specific ways to influence opinions toward a certain direction.

Coming from my experiences of filming documentaries about Eco Tourism with my older brother, I can relate to these three ways documentaries represent the world the reading has defined, especially the third way. During both post production and being in the field with cameras, my actions tend to come out of my own bias and what I am trying convey to my audience based on my opinion about of what I am actually filming without even knowing I am doing it. The ultimate goal of the documentary is the convince the audience that by being in Pro Eco-Tourism and engaging in the wild you can give back to the wild at the same time, rather than the opposing argument that says that the best thing for the survival of wildlife is to leave the wild alone. Now because of this, I would never document or produce something that would go against my argument, and that is what we must be aware of when viewing other documentaries and perceiving filmmakers.