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Addressing the problem of objectivity in film

dchin's picture

Thinking back to Maria's demonstration of how to visually make a text more feminist, I wonder how this idea of recuperating a text might apply to "Born in Brothels" and documentary film in general. In class, we discussed how the editing of the film privileged some students over the others while also promoting a certain narrative. How might the film have been made in a more democratic way? Given that editing is a necessary part of filmmaking, is a fuller representation even possible? To all the future filmmakers/those who have a background in film, have there been/are there filmmakers who try to do this? What are their perspectives/techniques? What is the critical film theory regarding objectivity, especially in documentary-making?


michelle.lee's picture

I'm not a filmmaker and am

I'm not a filmmaker and am also curious as to how objectivity is achieved.   I also wonder if there is a possible way to make this documentary have less favoritism.  It is an unfortunate reality that even this documentary needs to be fashioned in a certain way to gain viewers.  It is easier for people to focus on a couple children as well as put a story line for people to follow.  Which then makes me wonder if it's not all that bad.  If it is attracting attention and making people aware of the situation, has the documentary not fulfilled it's purpose?  One possible solution would be to just start off just focusing on a small number of children and then give equal camera time.  That method proved effective in the documentary Waiting for Superman.  In this documentary about the American public education system, the lives of 4 children are tracked and given equal time throughout the documentary.