What Documentary Has Changed Your Mind?
June 20, 2011 Leave a comment
While I was away honeymooning last week, my latest Doc Talk column posted over at Movies.com. The topic/question: What documentary has changed your mind. I focus on “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front,” which opens this Wednesday, while also hearing from guests like filmmaker Robert Greene and Pajiba’s Dustin Rowles. Also included are recommendations of new releases “Buck,” “Page One: Inside the New York Times,” “Jig,” “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop,” “Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders” and (sight unseen) “General Orders No. 9.” Here’s a snippet of the column:
Call me the worst kind of skeptic, but I’m not one for being convinced by anything, let alone documentaries. They may tell or show me something I didn’t already know, whether it’s the daily routines of Eskimos or bible salesmen or theories about global warming. And sometimes I’ll believe what I’ve heard or seen to be true, while other times I’ll watch something as out there as Loose Change or Collapse and think, “hmm, maybe…”
I enjoy documentaries for the stories and characters and occasionally the unknown worlds it introduces me to. But while these elements and their whole can often affect me emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, it’s not too often I walk away from a documentary thinking differently about an issue than when I started the film.
The following day, Movies.com honcho Erik Davis posted a follow up edition of The Conversation, in which he quoted some responses to the question from Twitter. Here’s a minor discussion of Tony Kaye’s “Lake of Fire” I found interesting:
@Phil_on_Film: I was pro-choice before Lake of Fire. It didn’t entirely change my mind but it left me with deeply conflicted thoughts & emotions
@garyotoole66: @Phil_on_Film then it sounds as though it’s done it’s job, sparking internal and external debate- good stuff I think!?
@Phil_on_Film: @garyotoole66: Yeah, it’s admirably even-handed for such a contentious issue & one of the most thought-provoking films I’ve seen.
Stay tuned for my next Doc Talk column on June 29, which will likely be a report from Silverdocs.