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2007 | 60 | 98-113

Article title

Towards Performative Documentary - From Luis Bunuel to Michael Moore


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In her article the authoress refers to Bill Nichols' well known classification of documentary films in her analysis of the recent developments of the documentary genre. In his last body of work, 'The Introduction to Documentary', Nichols points to the type of document - the performative model of documentary, that in recent years underwent rapid development. Its particular quality is that it undermines the faith in the objectivity of the facts displayed in the documentary. The problem of truth in documentary films has always been an issue, and one only has to consider the discussions of Luis Bunuel's 'La Terre Sans Pain' ( Las Huredes) to appreciate that point. But today these controversies are far more stark. In this model of documentary, the author has a particularly important role, as it is he or she that constructs the subjective, often emotional document about the most important problems affecting the contemporary world, and the use of personal experiences of the author and his or her personal views, highlight the subjective character of the documentary. The most important views expressed in these documentaries can be characterized as left of center. They often concern the problem and threat of globalization, the influence of multinational corporations, the pollution of the environment, the rise in ethnic and cultural conflicts, and the growing threat of terrorism. Michael Moore is one of the directors who recently created most controversies and discussions in the filed of documentary films. These discussions concern not only ideological issues, but also the very function of documentary. The authoress describes Michael Moore's satire and irony characteristic of his style of documentary, which qualify his work as belonging to the genre of perfomative documentary.







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  • T. Rutkowska, 'Kwartalnik Filmowy', Instytut Sztuki PAN, ul. Dluga 28, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland


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