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Transcript of Documentary Film
understanding the genre & its conventions
February 15, 2003
This date in World History
Who made this film? What do I need to know about the film-maker(s) to analyze this film?
What central questions is the film trying to answer? What does the filmmaker want people to know or remember? Who is the target audience?
Who funded this film and what is his or her interest in this particular approach to the film’s main topic(s)?
What kinds of conventions might I apply in my own film?
Message & Meanings
Who might benefit from the messages in this film? Who might be harmed or disadvantaged by them?
What have I learned from this film? Why might the film’s message(s) matter to me?
What action might audience members take as a result of this film?
What is this film about (and what makes you think that)? What ideas, values and information are overt? Implied?
Who are the voices of authority in this film? Are there voices left out that would add important perspectives?
What techniques does the filmmaker use to communicate essential ideas?
How do those techniques communicate the intended message(s)?
How might others see this film in a way that differs from the way I see it? How and why might different types of people interpret this film in divergent ways?
What is my reaction to this film and what do I learn about myself from my reaction or interpretation?
Represent-ations & Reality
When was this film made? Since then, has anything occurred that is relevant to the claims or focus of the film?
Where or how has this film been distributed (shared with the public)?
Which of the film’s assertions are facts and which are opinions?
What sources does the film rely on for its information, ideas or assertions? Are those sources credible? How do you know?
Gray light, new day leaks through the window
An old soul song comes on the alarm clock radio
We walk the forty blocks to the middle
Of the place we heard that everything would be
And there were barricades to keep us off the street
But the crowd kept pushing forward
Till they swallowed the police
Ya they went wild
We left before the dust had time to settle
Now all the broken glass swept off the avenue
And on the way home held your camera like a bible
Just wishing so bad that it held some kind of truth
And I stood nervous next to you in the dark room
You dropped the paper in the water
And it all begins to bloom
Ya they go wild
And just when I get so lonesome I cant speak
I see some flowers on the hillside
Like a wall of new TVs
Ya they go wild
Bright Eyes, "Old Soul Song" (2005)
this song will end in 4.5 mins.; please wait until the song has ended to view documentary
Take some time to read the lyrics, listen to the song, & think about its meaning