Wednesday, 3 August 2016

I watched a Documentary for the first time and...

So what is the first thought that pops into your head when you hear that the film you are going to watch is a non-fiction aka a documentary?

To be honest I was hardly excited in school when our teachers and guests speakers decided to show us a documentary. To me it just meant people giving interviews and dishing out their opinions at us with photos and videos that have hardly to do anything with my life. Maybe it was the documentaries that were shown to us or maybe it was our ignorance but it never was able to hold our attention for more than 5 minutes. But recently I (willingly) watched a documentary for the first time and realized that they are actually better than most movies today and here is why you must also attempt to watch them.

So let's start from the basic – what is a documentary? It is a type of film which concerns itself with facts. Documentaries essentially are created as a record of history. It may not necessarily have a story, but it will be built around reality. So it is mostly known as a non-fiction film. It is generally low budget and takes up a subject that consists of photographs, videos and various interviews from the people associated with it.

But what makes a film more appealing than a documentary? One of the reasons why films are much more popular than documentaries is because we cannot connect with documentaries as we do with fiction films. Fiction films take us on a journey with the protagonist and during the movie, the audience feels what the protagonist feels. Even though in no way we are related to that particular situation or event in real life, we can empathize with the protagonists and feel their happiness and pain. Most successful movies are the one that can make their audience cry or laugh and can associate themselves with. On the other hand, documentaries have this reputation of being these boring films with interviews and photos that do not make us feel the way movies in general do. But those days, my friend are long gone.

With the introduction of new and advanced camera equipment, an interesting subject and incorporating different cinematic techniques, the documentary world has been transformed for good. Film-makers can now create absolutely stunning documentaries at low budgets. Using theatrical structure and unusual formats, documentaries are attracting a huge number of viewers that are rapidly increasing. The shift is probably due to excess of movies that have no connection with reality and have unconvincing plots and as Anna Godas, Britain’s leading documentary distributor, aptly puts "Film-makers are choosing charismatic central characters with naturally dramatic stories and presenting them in innovative, memorable ways."

So the days of boring and unexciting non-fiction film are over because the documentaries produced in current times will shock you to your core with reality. Reconstruction of the history through graphics and special effects and the in-depth long-term investigation (that is often overlooked) about a particular subject will fulfill both your thirst for knowledge and entertainment. Documentaries will open your eyes and educate you in the best possible way. I recently watched Space Station Tour by Sunita Williams and Deep Web Documentary and I have realized the true potential of documentaries and how are they far more fun to watch than movies nowadays.

With so many styles and types of documentaries to choose from, you may find yourself exploring the myths and beliefs of medieval times to peeking into the thought process of dictators. Moreover, they are easily available and cost less. There is not a minute to be bored and therefore, I decided why to spend my time on over the top fictional movies when there is much more to gain and to enjoy while watching a documentary.

Written by Sanya K. Aitwani
Complicated thinker with a creative streak and perceptive outlook.

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