A documentary film presentation is a form of storytelling that combines motion pictures or videos with either live-action or animation in order to document a real event or situation The purpose of documentary film presentations is to inform, educate, and entertain the viewers, while also providing an objective, neutral perspective on the topic.
Documentary film presentations prioritize authenticity, often following and recording a particular individual or group of people’s experience over time and capturing their feelings, perspectives, and insights. These presentations can also mean the recreation of certain events that the filmmakers find too important or interesting to ignore and tell in an interesting, sometimes humorous, and captivating way.
The following are five examples of documentary film presentations that helped bring important topics to light:
1. The Thin Blue Line (1988): This documentary was directed by Errol Morris and follows a case involving a murder in Texas. The documentary presented the facts in a unique way and helped exonerate an innocent man, giving a voice to those who had previously been unheard.
2. The Act of Killing (2012): A highly-controversial documentary directed by Joshua Oppenheimer that follows those who were responsible for the genocide in Indonesia between 1965 and 1966. Oppenheimer interviews and records the testimonies of those involved and their re-enactments of their violent acts create an impactful, eye-opening experience.
3. Icarus (2017): This painful and deeply-engaged look into the world of doping in sports follows American filmmaker Bryan Fogel as he dives into the history and potential cover-ups of performance-enhancing drugs.
4. Blackfish (2013): Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, this documentary examines the life of Tilikum, an orca whale held by SeaWorld, and dives into the controversial captivity of orcas in theme parks.
5. Amy (2015): Directed by Asif Kapadia, this documentary gives an intimate and heartbreaking look at the life and career of Amy Winehouse and explores her life, her struggles with addiction, and the misguided people around her.