Documentary Film – The Inheritance of Direct Cinema and Its Development Until Now

Direct Cinema is proved as influential strength along the history of documentary films. Some developments, technique innovations, and themes become highly varied. One of the most popular variations of Direct Cinema is “rockumentaries” (rock documentaries). In this case, rockumentaries have varied types and forms.

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For example, are Let it Be (1970) to view a legendary music group, The Beatles, who was preparing album, and Woodstock: Three Days of Peace & Music (1970) by Michael Wadleigh as a documentation for three days music festival. Woodstock is often regarded as the best music documentary film along history, so it becomes a standard for other documentary films. There is also ‘This is Spinal Tap’ (1984) as the most successful rockumentary commercially in its time.

The pioneer of the combination format was Emile De Antonio through anti war film, Vietnam: In the Year’s of the Pig (1969). This format dominated the style of documentary film for the next years. The existence of digital format also facilitated anyone to produce this film digital cinema. Social and politics critique, environment, and minority group still became the main menu of documentary film theme for the next years.

The influential film-makers of documentary movie have popped out since 70s ear until now. One of them is Erol Morris who has produced unique documentary movies with uncommon theme and subject, such as Gates of Heaven (1978), The Thin Blue Line (1988), and Mr. Death (2000).

Meanwhile, Barbara Kopple is known through her film about labor demonstration, Harlan County, USA (1976) and American Dream (1990). There is also Michael Moore who likes doing social and politics critique through his films, Roger and Me (1989), Bowling for Columbine (2001), Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), and Sicko. Meanwhile Kevin Rafferty is known through his films, such as The Atomic Café (1982) and The Last Cigarettes (1999).

The exotic approach of Flaherty also still appears in a film that gets Oscar, March of the Penguins (2005). This film is noted as the best seller of documentary films along history.

In conclusion, documentary movies are proven to be more manipulative than commercial fiction movies. Through its presentation and subjectivity, it leans to ask the viewers to identify. The ethics and moral problems are always asked. However, the documentary movie-makers should be able to present not only the fact, but also the truth.

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