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Substance, Captured With Style: Documentary Films

by A. O. Scott.

Much of the time, a documentary is a movie with something to say and a lot of people talking. The current boom in nonfiction filmmaking has been fed, to a large extent, by the impulses of advocacy journalism, according to which the job of the filmmaker is to bring attention to a problem in the world and to assemble experts and eyewitnesses qualified to explain it.

While there is nothing wrong with this model — and much to admire about films that seek to instruct and inspire their audiences — it can be wearying and limited. There is so much social concern, so many talking-head interviews wrapped around snippets of archival footage, and, too often, not enough art.

Read the rest of this article from the NY Times.

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