Documentary Film Analysis

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According to Jane Chapman “documentary is a discursive formation, presenting first-hand experience and fact by creating a rhetoric of immediacy and ‘truth’, using photographic technology” (Chapman & Allison, 2009, p.8). This point is supported by documentary film director Leon Gast who says that main goal of a documentary is to tell a real and true story (When We were Kings, 1996). The filmmaker wants the viewer to believe that his film presents trustworthy and reliable information about the subject as natural images and natural contexts are used. This is what connects documentary with non-fiction as opposed to fictional films which use created images and foreign context, and offer representations than reality. However, even if documentary…show more content…
Parts of narrativity that will be analyzed are dramatization, manipulation and ethics. Film summary The Bridge is a 2006 British-American documentary film by Eric Steel. It is about the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge that is known as the most used suicide bridge in the world. This film shows real footage of people committing suicide, provides interviews with families, friends, witnesses and several of the survival attempters. Steel’s main goal was to have a suicide fence installed to help stop suicides or at least reduce them. As they were not installed in the Golden Gate Bridge for reasons of cost, aesthetics, and safety (Metacritic, 2006). Narrativity Porter Abbott defines narrative as “the representation of an event or a series of events” (Porter Abbott, 2002). There are a lot of data and narrative helps to make it more systematic and clear through building a story line. In most stories there is a clear beginning, middle and end and characters are used to drive the story forward with their…show more content…
In the film The Bridge contrast as a dramatization technique was used, when right after showing happy tourists on the bridge suiciders are shown. Another tehnique s when film structured with climaxes and anti climaxes to keep the audience emotionally attached. For example, the footage of Gene Sprague committing suicide was used throughout the film. Viewer sees him on the bridge, then he sits on the edge ready to jump, next scene he walks on a bridge again and all this is accompanied with interviews with his friends, just at the last shot of the film the viewer sees him jumping of the bridge. The use of a character as a part of the plot in order to raise a tension can distance the viewer from the understanding that it is a real human being and not a made up character. Through out the film interviewees describe inner struggles of their friends who committed suicide which is also typical for fiction films as documentary is based on facts not on the

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