A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record. ‘Documentary’ has been described as a ‘filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception’ that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries. This is how Wikipedia defines a documentary film. But there is more to it than that. To start with, it is a genre of film making that generally exists outside of the profit sector, hence is more accommodating to all aspects of human/human-nature drama. In addition, current documentary films are mostly made by individuals (often with very tight budgets) who are committed to cover stories the establishment medium/media doesn’t bother with, for one reason or another. Broadly speaking, documentary films are, the antithesis of the Hollywood/Bollywood type movies.
Almost invariably, the purpose of documentary films is to tell all sorts of stories from different/non-conventional point of views. Styles are also not restricted to regimented standards, as is the case with moneymaking movies. It is also less prone to dramatization as it is well grounded on concrete reality. What has made documentary films important and popular, particularly in these days of monopolized broadcasting is, the sheeple’s hunger for truth! The prevailing mainstream media (MSM) is nothing more than a propaganda machine (of the status quo) to propagate polarizing globalization in all spheres of existence. To be honest, the empowerment of the sheeple (populous) is not something the .01% (dominant global entrenched interest) looks at favorably. As a result, the accumulated frustration and chronic deprivation of facts/truth/information, etc., (in the lives of the gullible sheeple) propelled documentary films to a status that was Most importantly, it is technological advances in filmmaking that actually transformed the documentary genre to a new height. A committed individual can capture crucial components from within a large body of content, without much resources, be it finance or otherwise. This has opened the floodgate for documentary films and humanity is now the better of it! For example, ‘Citizen 4’, the highly acclaimed documentary about Edward Snowden and his revelations didn’t cost much to produce. Moreover, one cannot rationally expect the MSM to cover such a story accurately, as is (not as the ‘deep state’ wants it)! Thanks to documentary filmmaking, the world can now see and hear first hand, why the whistleblower did what he did. This is the kind of empowerment the global status quo doesn’t want promoted! Like it or not, documentary films will continue to make their critical contributions to the general betterment of life, mostly by exposing the wrongs of the globally entrenched system.
The Addis Ababa International Film Festival has been around for almost a decade. Last week it aired around 60 documentary films (from all over the world) in three different venues. For such unusual event the turn out was not all that bad. The ninth edition of the film showing festival was visited by over three thousand individuals, not from all walks of life. Naturally those who have had previous exposures (westerners residing in Addis, the diaspora etc.) were more visible than others. The rest of the international community was conspicuously absent. In this regard, the complete ‘no show’ (literally) of individuals from the various African missions in Addis, deserve special accolade! May be this is to be expected, given the novelty of the whole thing to locals/Africans, who are not ready to graduate from melodramatic feature films to documentary ones! Film festivals bring the full richness of the human experience to a given local culture. We believe such activities must be encouraged across the nation, particularly in our urban centers. To this end, the promoters of the Addis Ababa Film Festival must be congratulated for their efforts.
The establishment’s subtle strategy of muzzling the sheeple with the usual ‘bread & Circus’ (circus now includes all sorts of entertainments; sports, movies, etc.) gimmicks is about to exhaust itself. In the modern world system, liberating social consciousness has always been denied appropriate broadcasting medium, save the insignificant/minute opening availed to it now and then. Even here, the main objective is not to air the truth, but only to retain a semblance of credibility amongst the popular! Be that as it may, today thousands of documentary films are being made (all over the world) that try to depict reality, not fantasy! The contribution of such multitude of documentary films is bound to awaken the slumbering giant/sheeple and will be of the utmost importance in the years to come! Here is a testimony from one of the old warriors supporting our conviction: “Do you know what amazes me more than anything else? The impotence of force to organize anything.” Napoleon Bonaparte. Good Day!