Week 5: Inspiration [Untold Stories]

In the interests of exploring which style/s of a documentary I may want to pursue, I have been watching a few to get ideas. During assignment two, where experimenting with style and form was encouraged, I realised that I don’t really gravitate toward more poetic/experimental work. In retrospect, I think it would have been great to tackle something like that – especially through viewing everyone else’s work, I have seen how that style has a lot of affordances as far as being less concerned with succinctly summarising information and more to do with expressing the story.

Loading Docs has a number of short-form documentaries which I quite like. Being quite used to talking heads and b – roll, these kinds of films give a refreshing alternative. I like this film about a young Māori man living in Japan who plays rugby union. The use of voiceover is nice because it avoids the formal question/answer format and instead opts for a monologue. I also like the conversational mode the voice overuses, such as “I was like, nah nah nah…” while also commenting on the experience of cultural isolation with quite reflective statements towards the end.

I also love this film ‘Blood sugar’. The beginning of the film shows a little girl who is diabetic talking to her doctor, who talks to her like she’s an adult. She replies ‘I don’t know’ and proceeds to walk down the very serious hospital hallway to buzzy music. We move from the world of doctors and hospitals to the imagination of a child and again, there is no interview but rather the musings of the girl coinciding with the rather frustrating reality of living with diabetes.

These films both utilise the first person perspective very nicely, to where the audience is experiencing their point of view but not so much in a way that feels intrusive. Though I may not refer to these films as poetic or experimental as such, they both quite creatively tell the stories in the use of monologue and/or a more conversational question/answer that loses the formalities but still manages to cohesively tell us something about the subjects.

As we learnt this week, I would assume that both of these films constitute an autobiographical format. In relating it to this week’s reading by Broderick, neither use rhetoric in the way of logos (demonstrative proof), and nor it is particularly concerned with ethos in the way of expert opinion. Both are more concerned with pathos, the emotional appeals (p. 88, 2017) put forth by each of the subjects in that we as the audience seek to relate to, and empathise with them.


Fox, Broderick. Documentary Media : History, Theory, Practice, Routledge, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swin/detail.action?docID=5103711. [Accessed 15 August 2018]

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