Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Documentary or Propaganda?

Here's a question for those of you reading. It's just a general one, you only need write a one word answer if you want, but any response or opinion would be helpful. It involves the subject of documentaries and how effective they really are in the right hands. Also how manipulative the can be.

If you have the time please read the following and consider the question at the end:

  • A documentary on subject X has been created.
  • Documentary is not only created by avid supporters of X but is hosted by an extremely bias figure in its favour. One who the public would most recognise and is generally held in a favourable opinion.
  • Subject then presents opposition to X with extreme right wing conservatives. The type who are borderline political strawmen to the point where they use the bible to try and justify their responses. Only other depiction of opposition comes from rednecks who threaten another supporter of X, hold him at gunpoint, and vandalise his property.
  • All supporters and members of X are all presented as ultimately good, very happy, morally right people. Extremely supportive and with no flaws. This reaches the point when very brief edits and cuts use doctors/psychiatrists to claim X as a wholly positive influence and are examining its effects.
  • Those with mental conditions are introduced to support X. Mentioning them as having benefitted from becoming a part of it and overcoming their problems due to it.
  • Throughout the documentary a father who dislikes and is opposed to X is introduced with a son which supports X. Over it he is slowly seen to become more supportive of X and his son as a result through introduction to new people until he has no problems with it.
  • No negative aspects of X are ever introduced. The closest it comes to this is a very brief mention of a very disputed subject which has been a long source of criticism within X, which goes no further than stating its name.
  • The documentary reaches the point where X is presented as having made the life of a dying child better as a result. Using both general members of X and another major figurehead as a core example of this.
  • All throughout a major gathering of X is repeatedly brought up. It is, as with everything else, presented as wholly positive. Said gathering is a new development and efforts to create further ones in the future are at a critical stage. It presents every supporter of X as going to this and also a fair number who have no interest in it.
  • The documentary has been built not on the question “Is X good?” but instead the statement “X is good!”

Would you say that this is a documentary or propaganda?

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