The nature of documentary

As expected, Farenheit 9/11 is a hot topic for discussion.
Jason Kottke’s recent piece on it led me to thinking about what is good documentary. I am not much of a fan of Moore’s work – although I have not seen or read any of it. What I have read from others has resulted in me putting it way down in my priority list. So I was surprised that a discussion about him would lead me anywhere interesting.
Seems a fair consensus that Farenheit 9/11 won’t change any minds rather will strengthen views already held on either side. However, Kottke’s piece goes further than this observation to discuss the nature of documentary.
He argues

The frustrating thing is that Moore has a point, but he’s unable to get himself out of the way enough to tell us the story so we can make up our own minds about it.

This is very dear to the heart of Stories are very powerful conveyors of multiple truths. (We use them to open deep currents running through organisations.) The storyteller must have their own story to tell in the telling but must not get in the way of the other stories that viewers (and readers) will hear.

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