Documentary Film “What the Health”

The directors of the documentary, What the Health, exposes the organizations and government agencies who purport to be working towards making America a healthy nation, but instead are in reality increasing the rates at which diseases spread exponentially through advertising the products that are the source of the diseases such as obesity, heart attacks, and diabetes. This film uses various kinds of evidences and strategies to support its argument against the organizations such as American Heart Association, American, American Diabetes Association and USDA, but the main strategies include the use of graphics, expert opinion, and personal anecdotes. The types of evidence that is used in the documentary is relatable to the readers which increases credibility and eventually the rate of efficiency by which the message is conveyed.

The directors employ the strategy of graphics throughout, but in the beginning it is pervasive. For example, the directors decided to include graphical analysis of the spread of diseases in U.S and statistics while also comparing the foods that the Americans were consuming such as cigarettes and the scene of cigarettes being cooked with the meats in a frying pan efficiently provides readers with a grasp of the concept that the foods are the root of diseases in a tangible form. This graphical irony allows the readers to internalize the concept instantly while also motivating them to examine their diet habits. The other strategy that the directors employed in much of the documentary is the expert opinion. For example, the directors had direct interviews with the surgeons, researchers and professors in the documentary explaining that how the diet that we have been accustomed to isn’t beneficial as we might believe it to be. The inclusion of direct quotes from experts increases credibility in a way that prevents readers from doubting the content contained in the documentary. This strategy raises questions in the reader’s mind regarding the validity of the information they are bombarded with daily and encourages them to avail their common sense for the sake of their advantage.

The third most prevalent and useful strategy employed by the directors of the documentary to uncover the truth is personal anecdotes by people who have been inflicted by diseases such as heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. For example, the stories that were included of patients who had been in the treatment process for years and their showcase of the excessive amounts of medication that they were consuming, but couldn’t recover was a strong proof in the favor of the argument. The personal anecdotes from normal people bridges the gap between the viewers and the presenters in terms of transparency which helps the directors increase the scope of their argument. This also allows the readers to admit that the diseases can be contracted by anyone in our society because of what our diet has become and therefore, opens their eyes to the truth behind the foods that we find in almost all the stores in U.S

The directors’ use of the above strategies listed render the documentary a credible source in these times when people are provided with information that is professed to be for the advantage of the readers or viewers, but in reality benefitting the manufacturers and multi-billion dollar companies. The directors could not have convinced the viewers of the validity of their documentary without taking advantage of the strategies available especially the expert opinions. The documentary, overall, is persuasive because the strategies are used in tandem and in right proportions which leaves the readers with a long lasting impact that will remind them of the message every time they shop for food in the stores and eventually leads them to protect their families and closed ones by choosing the right foods.

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What Makes a Credible Documentary

A documentary is successful when it is able to combine both the appearance of historically accurate elements and present believable situations through a false lens, leading the audience to question the reality of what they are seeing. The genre of documentary aims to present a convincing story through the use of credible documentary tactics to portray a “fictional documentary. ” Every documentary depends on its viewers believing its premise. The illusion of believability is most often either confirmed or destroyed by the credits.

Frequently the audience first learns the people on the screen were actors, and that they have fallen prey to the thick veil of believability that documentary films are so able to portray. To capture the audiences trust directors of documentary films apply many of the tactics and conventions documentaries serve to leave the audience questioning the reality and believability of what they view in the theatre and at home. Documentaries inspire an awareness of being that one has not previously experienced.

The film urges the spectator to reevaluate not only one’s breadth of knowledge but also puts forward the message that the documentary is actually made to talk about and the real truth from a person who is not involved with the message. Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to “document” reality. Although “documentary film” originally referred to movies shot on film stock, it has subsequently expanded to include video and digital productions that can be either direct-to-video or made for a television series.

Documentary, as it applies here, works to identify a “filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception” that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries. The nature of documentary films has changed in the past 20 years from the cinema verity tradition. Landmark films such as The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris incorporated stylized re-enactments, and Michael Moore’s Roger and Me placed far more interpretive control with the director.

Indeed, the commercial success of these documentaries may derive from this narrative shift in the documentary form, leading some critics to question whether such films can truly be called documentaries; critics sometimes refer to these works as “mondo films” or “docu-ganda. ” However, directorial manipulation of documentary subjects has been noted since the work of Flaherty, and may be endemic to the form. The recent success of the documentary genre, and the advent of DVDs, has made documentaries financially viable even without a cinema release.

Yet funding for documentary film production remains elusive and within the past decade the largest exhibition opportunities have emerged from within the broadcast market, making filmmakers beholden to the tastes and influences of the broadcasters who have become their largest funding source. Modern documentaries have some overlap with television forms, with the development of “reality television” that occasionally verges on the documentary but more often veers to the fictional or staged.

The making-of documentary shows how a movie or a computer game was produced. Usually made for promotional purposes, it is closer to an advertisement than a classic documentary. Modern lightweight digital video cameras and computer-based editing have greatly aided documentary makers, as has the dramatic drop in equipment prices. With more visualization effects and bolder directors on the rise, its future holds a firm ground in context to modern cinema.

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What Is Documentary Film

Matthew Foster Intro to Documentary Film Midterm Paper What Is Documentary Film? I once heard a quote from an unknown man who said, “Words are only words until you invest some meaning into them. ” I didn’t fully comprehend what he meant by this statement. Surely every word has its own definition, giving it some […]

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