To What Extent Is It Said That Spectators Approach Documentary Films with Greater Critical Awareness Than When They Watch Fiction Films?

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The key points in this question is when watching a documentary is our awareness as spectators a greater awareness than of a fiction film. When I first viewed ‘Senna’, I was made to go with what the film maker had put and my response was a visceral response feeling compassion with his parents. I was less critically aware of what I was watching as I was lead to believe what I was watching. However, on the second viewing I thought more about and questioned what I was watching and hearing on the screen, so my response was more intellectual than visceral.

Before watching a documentary film I believe that it will be truthful than that of a fiction film. This because it is using primary sources like interviews and footage from the time that fiction films don’t use. In the film ‘Senna’, we see an over the shoulder shot of Senna in one of his races. When seeing this I feel happy for him and how his car is going winning the races.

On the other hand, if the film contained footage that was a reconstruction of the events that happened, for example, if it wasn’t Senna in the racing car but someone else giving a reconstruction of what happened it would not give the same effect. Personally I would question a reconstruction more as I wouldn’t feel as emotionally attached as I do to an interview. Also it would be less reliable and your response maybe more intelligent than visceral as you would be thinking more.

In 'Man on Wire' there are some reconstructed footage mixed with footage from the time. The film maker has done it so the audience cannot tell the difference between reconstructed and footage from the time. We see a 3 shot of Phillippe and his friend going onto the roof of the twin towers, with the guard sitting on guard watching them. This footage could be a reconstruction or footage from the time. However where would the footage come from if it was from the time. This causes the audience to question what the film maker is showing us on the screen and wanting...
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