Fact – something that truly exists or happens.
Truth – fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal.
I begin this evening’s blog post with the definition of the two words “fact” and “truth”. We ended our class discussion today focused on these two words in relation to the major difference between documentary and news – yet there are still so many who associate documentary with news, or news topics with documentary. There is a place for the “news documentary” and there are documentaries that focus more on current events and have a more “news” like aesthetic to them, yet there still needs to be a very defined line drawn between the two – otherwise we can enter some unethical waters.
Today we watched Joris Iven’s classic film “Regen” (1929) – a documentary – not a weather report ;-). Not only was it important as a city symphony film, it was a very important avant-garde documentary. Ivens, having shot random rain showers in Amsterdam over several months, clearly manipulates time and space, as he “creates” a 14 minute rain storm in this documentary. Yet – we are still seeing reality. This rain actually fell in Amsterdam. That is a fact. Wait – an edit! Another shot of rain. And, yes, this rain actually fell in Amsterdam, but is it the same rain that we previous saw or another rain? Um… are we really asking ourselves questions like this or are we watching the movie? Immersing ourselves in the reality that Ivens is presenting for us? The beauty that he has captured?
Discussion Starter: In every film there is manipulation. In every documentary there is manipulation of the truth. That is a fact. Can you live with that truth?
Just a reminder – Blog responses should be a minimum of 200 words (1/2 a page, single spaced if you were to type it out and print it) (500 words for honor students).