June 22, 2018

Essential Doc Reads: Week of June 18

From Michael Moore's 'Bowling for Columbine.' Courtesy of The Criterion Collection

Essential Doc Reads is a weekly feature in which the IDA staff recommends recent pieces about the documentary form and its processes. Here we feature think pieces and important news items from around the Internet, and articles from the Documentary magazine archive. We hope you enjoy!

From IndieWire, David Ehrlich talks to filmmaker Michael Moore about Bowling for Columbine and his struggles to make an impact with his documentaries.

 “For almost 30 years, I’ve been trying to sound a warning siren that the wealthy in this country are on a rampage to take whatever they can from the middle class. I’ve been trying to highlight a 20th century form of capitalism that’s all about making as much money as possible at the suffering and expense of others, often by manipulating white people into being afraid of those others.” 

Filmmaker's Lauren Wissot sits down with Robert Bahar and Almudena Carracedo about their award-winning The Silence of Others, which focuses on surviving victims of the brutal 40-year Franco regime in Spain and their quest to confront their perpetrators and bring them to justice.

"It was also emotionally very difficult. As filmmakers we had lots of doubts, too. There is so much unresolved pain, so much horror in this story, and the responsibility to do justice to that pain would often keep us awake at night. Would we be able to capture the complexity of the situation? Would we be able to honor the journey and the struggle of so many thousands and thousands of people? It took many years (and 16 months of editing) to feel that the film was indeed ready."

Gina Duncan, associate vice president of cinema at BAMcinematek, shares with IndieWire's Erik Cohn her insights about programmatic diversity.

"I’m hoping the astute audience member is seeing the rep screen and saying, ‘If there is this rich history of women and POC contributing to the industry, why aren’t we seeing that in new releases?’ I want people to recognize we’ve always been here and making this work.

Variety's Todd Spangler speculates about Facebook's big investment in content.

Analysts expect Facebook to plunk down at least $1 billion—and as much as twice that—over the next 12 months. The company’s goal is to turn Facebook Watch, its interactive video destination already launched in the U.S., into a TV-like habit for its massive user base and their friends. And, execs hope, that will land the platform TV-like ad bucks

Also from Variety, Janko Roettgers reports on Instagram's new venture, IGTV.

At its heart, IGTV will be both a hub within the existing Instagram app, as well as a new dedicated app that will allow users to watch IGTV videos. These are basically vertical videos produced by some of Instagram’s top creators, and curated based on past viewing behavior of Instagram’s users.


From November 2002 issue: "Michael Moore Guns for the Real Issues in Bowling for Columbine"

While some would back away from using humor to deal with serious subjects such as gun violence, he unashamedly embraces it. "I think it’s the most effective weapon there is to go up against different things that you see are wrong in the world. Our greatest comedians and greatest film people who have used comedy have been very angry people who have wanted to make commentary on the social condition."


In the News

SFFILM Announces Catapult Documentary Fellowships and AMPAS Doc Talks


Hulu Acquires Award-winning Documentary Crime + Punishment


POV Picks Up Minding the Gap and 306 Hollywood


AFI Docs Announces Audience Award Winners


Television Critics Association Reveals TCA Award Nominations