Documentaries - Entertainment and Serious Issues Term Paper by Nicky

Documentaries - Entertainment and Serious Issues
A look at how documentary films can now be educational and entertaining.
# 146944 | 2,100 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Jan 28, 2011 in Film (Documentary)

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This paper explains how there has been a recent increase in the popularity of documentaries being made into feature films. It discusses how documentaries are able to serve the dual purpose of both entertaining and presenting serious issues and identifies a number of different tools which are used to allow entertainment to be incorporated into the documentary itself. This discussion uses a number of examples from the genre to illustrate the points being made.

From the Paper:

''One of the prevailing features of a number of successful documentaries which have made it to the big screen is that of very likeable protagonists. A prime example of this is in the film 'King Corn' which features Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis in a quest to grow and sell an acre of corn. The film focuses on the problems which are inherent in the American industrial food system and aims to raise awareness over the food which we are eating and the processes of farming in the developed nations. Here the entertainment lays not so much in the actual topic of the film, but in the manner in which it is presented by Cheney and Ellis. The two often crack jokes as a part of their on-camera discussion, for example in one scene where they find hemp growing in their field as a weed. The two maintain what one review refers to as a 'light-hearted', 'friendly and interested attitude' (Onion 123). It is essentially the personality of the two presenters, and the implication that they are the proverbial 'everyman', which holds the interest of the audience throughout.''

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bickford, Donna M. "Using testimonial novels to think about social justice." Education, Citizenship and Social Justice 3.2 (2008): 131-146.
  • Bruzzi, Stella. New Documentary: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2000.
  • Corner, John. "What can we say about 'documentary'." Media, Culture and Society 22.5 (2000): 681-688.
  • Higgins, Lynne A. "Documentary in an age of terror." South Central Review 22.2 (2005): 20-38.
  • Onion, Rebecca. "King Corn, A film by Aaron Wolf, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, Dir. Aaron Wolff, 2007, ITVS/Mosaic Films, ISBN (DVD): 1-59458-701-9, 88 min. (Distributed by Bullfrog Films)." Green Theory & Praxis: The Journey of Ecopedagogy 4.1 (2008): 122-124.

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