Assumptions About Documentaries and an Analysis of The Catfish

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Assumption about documentaries being true, educational only, no imagination needed aren’t correct . There are several documentaries we watched in class that show that documentaries don’t all fall under the same assumptions. A common assumption about documentaries is that there is no imagination needed. “ In a time when the major media recycle the same stories on the same subjects over and over, when they risk little in formal innovation, when they remain beholden to powerful sponsors with their own political agendas and restrictive demands, it is the independent documentary film that has brought a fresh eye to the events of the world and told stories, with verve and imagination, that broaden limited horizons and awaken new…show more content…
Even though they are real people we weren’t really seeing who they are.
A documentary film is not made up; it shows what really happens in real life; shows things as they are naturally are. This statement is not completely true. “The story a documentary tells stems from the historical world but it is still told from the filmmaker’s perspective and in the filmmaker’s voice. This is a matter of degree, not a black-and-white division.” (Nichols, 12) “In these cases the stories told speak about the actual events directly, not allegorically, and the film adheres to the known historical facts. Social actors, people, present themselves in fluid, negotiated, revealing ways.” (Nichols,12) According to Nichols documentaries are true events but the filmmaker shapes what we see into what they want us to see. We are getting the perspective of the directors. An example of movie watched in class was Nanook of the North, even though the people were real, some of the scenes seemed staged. The director wants us to see Nanook and his people behind on technology and still living in the past. There is the scene were one of them is biting a disc, it seems the director is trying to make us believe these people are way behind and primitive. Another scene that helps prove that not everything caught on camera happens naturally is when Nanook sees all the other eskimos going

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