There are always controversy surrounding documentaries being biased. The question is why? In fact, how you ever thing that debt is bias? If debt is not bias, why are you in financial distress? To much to discuss about it. However, this article is not about debt, debt relief, debt settlement, student debt or any other type debt!
Documentaries try to relate a topic or story from the point of reality. There should be little intrusion from the director of the documentary. Documentaries try to emulate reality to the best of its ability, but does reality mean that there isn’t any bias?
Bias Ideas and Values Can Differ Greatly
I think of the classic, he said, she said scenario where two people may witness or go through a similar event, yet their stories can be very different. We must keep in mind that every person has certain ideas and values that are virtually impossible to separate from them. These pieces become part of a person’s over all perception of life and events.
Perspective doesn’t negate rationality. Just because you may feel a certain way about a topic doesn’t mean you cannot deliver facts and information that you rationally understand to be true. A certain level of objectivity usually remains even if you do not personally agree with these ideas.
All of these issues can be applied to documentaries, and the attempt to be as ‘unbiased’ as possible. Directors made documentaries with a topic in mind and a perspective. Whether or not the director wants his personal opinion on the topic to be part of the film, in some ways it is inevitable.
Why is bias a bad thing?
We are taught to form opinions of our own. Documentaries are a great way to help present information on a topic that many people may not have been aware of before. As with anything though, you cannot simply believe everything you see in one film. It’s just like you cannot fully believe the accuracy of a single news report. Writers often left parts out, either by mistake or due to other circumstances. This negligence greatly affect the story being told. Readers and writers are being biased to a certain degree. We all have a perspective and opinion on a variety of issues and topics, and we are told this is a good thing.
Michael Moore is the most obvious example of having lots of controversy surrounding his documentary films. In many of his films he does not shy away from making a point. Sometimes he does a statement about the topic he is presenting. His documentaries present both information and opinion. However, they may not give an objective explanation of a topic. He just does present issues and ideas that you may not have been aware of otherwise.
While documentaries have certain practices and rules that should be adhered to, it is hard to determine how unbiased they should or can be. Documentaries still inform their audience about a variety of topics and most of the time present it in a rational manner that suggests objectivity. However, eliminating all bias is quite a larger task. Maybe we should change the way we perceive documentaries. Instead of expecting documentaries present us with unbiased fact, we should use them as a tool to gather information and gain new perspective.