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Documovies- a new class of movie

August 28, 2005

Documentaries have been the preferred medium of choice to get issues out their in to the world. In the last few years, a number of documentaries have tried to reach out to a mainstream audience to communicate an idea. One of the most notable, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, took over $100 million at box office and played a role in the 2004 elections.

There are now a couple of movies just released or soon to be released that tackle global issues:

The Constant Gardener – based on the book of John Le Carre that deals with the pharmaceutical industry and Africa

The Lord of War – dealing with the arms trade issue

Of the two, The Lord of War is the more interesting in its structure. Although, like The Constant Gardener, it is a fictional story, the movie is peppered with facts and information. It uses all the typical movie elements of character development, stunts that serve to package the facts in a palatable form for a mass audience. It comes across as edutainment, rather than education. You leave the film having been both entertained and educated.

Perhaps we will see movies playing a more prominent role in the communication of global issues with the creation of a new class of movie: the “Documovie.”

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