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Roger Ebert Review Nichols, Why are Ethical issues central to Documentary Filmmaking - Essay Example

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Documentaries convey reality of the issues happening in the world to represent the interests of the public and also for historical records. Issues involving morality questioning and public image are…
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Roger Ebert Review Nichols, Why are Ethical issues central to Documentary Filmmaking
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A Review of Nichols: Why are Ethical Issues Central to Documentary Filmmaking? Documentary Filmmaking has ethical challenges since it documents true stories. Documentaries convey reality of the issues happening in the world to represent the interests of the public and also for historical records. Issues involving morality questioning and public image are very sensitive that filmmakers may opt not to inform the social actors of the real intention of making that film. The directors often get sued when they fail to respect the dignity and social rights of their subjects.
Michael Moores, the director of Roger and Me, is an exemplary filmmaker with the ability to film familiar problems in the society that would probably not catch anyone’s interest in a renewed distinctive perspective thereby wins the audience attention. His filming techniques are able to arouse the audience feelings making them think of how to get solutions to the problems other than just living with the problems.
Roger and Me documentary faced several ethical challenges. Michael Moores did not inform the social actors of the repercussions of taking part in the film. It was his responsibility to explain to his subjects the objectives of the documentary, how it would affect their public image and any compensations for any bad effect. The audience tend to believe what they see or hear, therefore, the people of Flint, Michigan, who were interviewed in the documentary, especially Miss Michigan did not deserve being portrayed as foolish to the public.
The main objective of a documentary to tell the truth, it is a challenge to the filmmaker whether to tell the subjects of harmful effects of taking part or choosing not to film so as not to lie to the audience (Nichols). The filmmakers sometimes withhold informed consent as it would ruin their film if they revealed their intentions or the actual effects of a film. Michael Moore withheld the informed consent from the people of Flint, Michigan which is an act of deception which did not protect the social actors’ dignity and rights despite delivering a truthful piece to the audience.
Works Cited
Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary 2/e. Bloominghton & Indianapolis: Indian University press, n.d. Read More
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