The Last Unconquered Battle Ground: Truth. Enter Documentaries.

It all starts here:

“Get outta the front seat, I was there first!”
“No you weren’t”
“Yes I was…”

…..And: Repeat.

Fast forward a couple scores and we still haven’t figured anything out. The dynamics are still the same: “My reasoning is more logical than your reasoning, therefore: you’re an idiot.”
As of late, bickering in this society has escalated. They use popular, fancy words like “bias” and “propaganda” – which in most cases, loosely translates into “everything that I believe to be wrong and stupid” is called ‘propaganda’. How popular is this style of arguing? So much so, that you already know what I’m refering to and I haven’t said a single thing about it yet. As a result of this pointless bickering, a new focus has emerged: Truth. Many people, while not screaming their heads off have taken more detailed looks at exactly what they’ve been listening to this whole time. This dining customer would like to speak to the chef please….

For example, agree with Fahrenheit 9-11 or not, it has shown that there’s a lot about the Bush administration that would be in their best interest that the public didn’t know. Why didn’t the press cover it? Has CNN, Fox news, MSNBC given us various slanted dynamics? Are stories really edited for maximum effect? How come we don’t have a clear idea what the “other” side is thinking? Why do we think we know more about a foreign country than its own occupants even though we couldn’t point to that country on a map? Agree with some of these questions or not, they are being asked a lot more. And a small few are stepping up to answer them:

Two new documentaries come to mind:
One, Bubba mentioned the other day called “Orwell Rolls in His Grave” – A documentary about a doublespeak society where lies pass for truth and if and how that is happening to us.
And now, there’s “Control Room“. Tagline: “Different Channels. Different Truths.” The film takes a documented look at Al-Jazeera and their different broadcasting morals compared to the US. Again, whether you agree or not, the fact remains that although each of our channels will claim to be giving you the “whole story” and the “whole truth”, yet study after study has shown that avid watchers of different channels believe different things. How??? Why??? I haven’t seen “Control Room” yet, but hopefully it’ll examine that stuff closely. Give their Trailer a watch – it’s quite interesting.

Guaranteed, frustrated people will stand up and call this stuff propaganda as well – simply because they disagree – even though from the looks of the trailer, it may hear both sides equally – who knows. Either way, in light of which, a friendly reminder:
While we’re “busy” bickering about someone else’s differing opinion and the fact that they don’t use the word “war”, “authorize” or “reported” correctly, human beings are dying.
Research more. Talk less.

Off hand, Al-Jazeera has been given the green light to be broadcast in Canada as of yesterday.

**Update** Oh Look! ANOTHER documentary about our media’s message. This one is closer to home and will likely be a bit more brash, it’s called “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” Here’s it’s Trailer (and whoa!) – I’m not endorsing nor slamming the film, but the sudden interest in what exactly we’re being told is fascinating.

11 thoughts on “The Last Unconquered Battle Ground: Truth. Enter Documentaries.

  1. Great….the Bible, as told threw the producers of “The Day After Tomm”….I can see it now……”Noah: The Flood Of a Life Time”…..Summer Blockbuster…..Bad Film if you ask me

  2. Oh, absolutely. There are going to be a ton of bad knock offs and though I’ve not seen it yet my hunch is that Outfoxed is one of them. I’ve heard nothing but stellar reviews for Control Room, though. But between Moore and Spurlock both turning tidy profits – I think Ron Mann’s latest did as well – it’ll hopefully open the door for some more *good* docu film makers.

    As for the torrent of Bible movies, there’s already another version fo the ten commandments in the works. Can’t remember who’s attached to the project any more, but I remember cringing a lot when I first read it … I’ll go find out … Ah. Producer of ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and the writer of ‘The Life of David Gale’. Ick.

  3. Your probably right….and I wasn’t picking at anyone. I just don’t want anyone to get the idea that Hype can replace good story telling….which I think happened here….and unfortunatly….like “The Passion Of The Christ” will make people go crazy and make another Bible movie…..we will see really bad knock off’s of the next Expose’ Docu……

  4. Jason, Day-vuh, you guys are totally talking past each other and largely making the same points. The entire point of this wave of films (Control Room, Orwell Rolls in His Grave, and even Outfoxed) is that the media AREN’T unbiased. They’re making the exact same point as you are, Jason, which is the whole point Day-vuh was getting at with this post.

    As far as documentaries having some sort of obligation to be ‘objective’, I disagree. Firstly because I’m down with Kant and believe objectivity on any level is an absolute impossibility. Secondly because making a documentary is roughly the same as writing an essay – you pick your thesis and then you assemble your arguments to support that thesis as strongly as you possibly can. To expect somebody to actively shoot down their own arguments and opinions is wildly unrealistic and would make for some very, very bland and boring film making. That said if the film maker is honest and sees that their points are untenable they should abandon them …

    Documentaries, at least the good ones, aren’t about facts so much as they are about opinions and interpretations. The idea that any film maker is capable of, or obligated to, set down some sort of canon-law version of Truth is really pretty silly. What they should do is lay their opinions out there in a way that launches discussion and thought. Documentaries are far more about raising issues than they are about solving them.

  5. But the short way to what I was saying…..I agree with what you said last….that it will be interesting to see what people try to tell us what is real……I just can’t wait till next summer…I can seeit now….

    SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER: July 4th weekend…..3,100 screens with mid-night shows……

    Neverland: The REAL Story that Michael Jackson never wanted you too see

    A Film By:M. Night SHAMAlot….oh nevermind…that’s a rant I will save for another time…..

  6. My point is…..When I 1st saw “Roger And Me”….I thought it was entertaining but more than that….it was someone’s passion. When I saw “Bowling….”, I felt he was bringing something to light. As I said before….I am not a Liberal all the time….nor am I conservative on all issues. But twisted truth’s by “former” workers is just that…..same story…diffrent twist.

    Here is my point….as a “Documentary Film Maker”….I would think that you have a obligation NOT to leave out points to lead the audience to your conclusion…..

    I knew when I saw the New “Texas Chainsaw” Movie was “Based” on a true event….but I knew that very little of what I was watching was real…..

    Case in point…you said in your article….”My Reasoning is more logical than yours….your an idiot”

    Technically….THAT is what you said….I just left out some words that were useless…no….contradictory to the point I was making. So you come across diffrently that what you meant….but I wasn’t lying.

    I have just come to realize that if it gets put in print or replayed on the “NEWS”…..almost everyone belives it must be true…..that disapoints the kid in me….

    I have read your points…and I agree with most. I just think this is a valid point when we get lost in the praise of “DOcumentary Film”…..the are becoming works of half-fiction…..

  7. I agree that I wouldn’t know about this film, but I disagree with your assumption that I wouldn’t care about this film based on the fact if a bunch of people I don’t know went to see a different movie.

    First off, I’m not going to go into semantics about “lies” found in documentaries. If by “lies” you mean “interpretation issues” okay, I’ll hear you. If you don’t like the points Michael Moore is saying, I’ll understand that. However, as much as some people don’t like it, the hard facts in F-911 do stand. I’m not the one saying that, but the lawyers and the former head of fact checking for the New Yorker (who he hired) who then turned around and brought in her own team of fact-checkers, couldn’t find a hard fact that was proclaimed falsely.

    **However, none of that has ANYTHING to do with what I’ve written in the post.
    – Control Room, as I saw yesterday is an extremely open-ended, show’s-both-sides type of film – and is very much UNLIKE Michael Moore’s F-911 or “Outfoxed”. So as far as comparing those films go, is an incorrect assumption.

    Lastly, unbiased news and unbiased coverage of anything as large as a war is a mirage. It doesn’t exist. Anywhere. Do your own research and decide for yourself. As I say in the post, don’t be the person who just sits back and assumes everyone else is stupid (not saying you are) because they disagree with your point that you’ve convinced yourself is 800% correct.

  8. You would not know or care about this film if 9/11 had not done so well….long and short….if you give me enough time and money…I could make a film that shows half the truth and reverses the lies…..I just think that Michael Moore and the guy who did OUTFOXED are biased and will use the Documentary Format to pass there views off as the Unadulterated Truth….which I doubt they are.

  9. I may have just misunderstood you, but outfoxed isn’t a response to Fahrenheit 9-11.. “Response” being the other side of a debate giving their counter-points.

    Outfoxed is actually sponsored in part by, which Michael Moore has has some heavily affiliation with…

  10. I am a mindless robot…..I belive everything I see….everyone speaks the truth…..

    Two Points: Do You Own Investigation

    Just because someone said it…
    does not make it true….
    Personally…I am Liberal on certain issues and conservative on others….probably like most others…..I can’t stand those mindless people who fly on one side or the other….

    sorry for the rant: As A Movie Buff….bet there will be many,many,many NEW Documentaries coming to a theater near you….why? The Movie industry is owned by Xerox….Copy,Copy,Copy…..

    Personally I liked Michael Moore when he was less known….and everyone knows that this OutFoxed is just a fast,throw together response to Farenheit 9/11

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