The concept of a documentary has always stumped me, mainly because a documentary is supposed to “document” an unbiased, plain representation of a situation. Yet I have never seen a documentary that simply lays out the facts without bias. Even the most well-intentioned documentaries are skewed by personal taste and opinion.
I’m also a person who does not revel in “real-life” stories. I am an escapist by nature. The real world is much too boring for me. Yet, there are documentaries which have truly inspired me. Films like The Enemies of Reason, Religulous, Freakonomics, Fathead, Indie Game: The Movie, and Nerdcore Rising. I think that these documentaries have accomplished this because they admit that they are biased, and possibly deceptive in their truth. Just like this summers upcoming blockbusters, these documentaries have heroes, villains, and fantastic events. There’s no illusion to fact or slavery to emotion. From the moment these movies start, you know what is being presented and how it’s being presented. I think the word documentary creates a false sense of journalistic integrity. Looking at our readings, all of them discuss methods to control and manipulate the audience. These are certainly not tools of an unbiased reporter.
I think an un-documentary should be the exact opposite of a documentary. A work that explores the topic without actually documenting it. Kind of like archival documentary, but with more creativity in the presentation. That way, their is no viel of unbiased execution, because the author cannot hide behind “documented events”.