cover of Documentary magazine Fall 2021 issue

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A BTS photo of a female participant, wearing a purple headscarf, being filmed for the screening guide, 'Healing the Healers.' Courtesy of Transform Films.

Fall 2021

What the past 20 months have unleashed underscores the urgency to center trauma and mental health in our ongoing conversations—and in the Fall 2021 issue of Documentary. This past winter, we published a first-person account from cinematographer Jenni Morello about her experiences filming in troubled regions—and her struggles to address the traumas that ensued. Morello’s story inspired us to inquire about other trigger-laden phases of documentary filmmaking, such as post-production. We also assess the impact the process has on protagonists, who have given so much of themselves before the camera, and on so-called “fixers,” who have been instrumental in navigating pathways through dangerous territories. And there’s also the audience, who may be susceptible to unsettling subject matter inherent in the work. Clearly, duty of care has assumed preeminence in the totality of the documentary practice.



  • Stock image of a brownstone building with the words ‘How Are You, Really?’ painted on its side wall. Courtesy of Finn/Unsplash

    A Call for Normalizing Mental Healthcare in the Documentary Space

    I was originally drawn to a career in film...
  • JP Jayasankar is an Indian male filmmaker photographed on the sets of his documentary, ‘So Heddan So Hoddan.’ Photo by Mangesh Gudekar

    Duty of Care: The Filmmaker-Protagonist Relationship

    “Really… I feel reluctant… coming to receive you...
  • A BTS photo of a female participant, wearing a purple headscarf, being filmed for 'Healing the Healers.' Courtesy of Transform Films.

    Preparing the Audience: Creating a Safe Space for Difficult Screenings

    When Nick Stuart of the nonprofit multimedia...
  • An image of Miranda Yousef’s editing suite: mental health resources creating a much-needed work-wellness balance for the editor. Image courtesy of the author.

    How to Practice Self-Care When Editing Documentary Footage

    It was the first day on my new editing gig: a...
  • Carteles Unidos in Michoacan, getting ready to fight against their main enemy: Cartel Jalisco New Generation. Photo courtesy of Miguel Angel Vega

    The High-Risk, Low-Return Life of a Fixer in Latin America

    In July 2021, Mexican "fixer" Miguel Angel Vega...