The Camera Never Lies
Does documentary ever really tell the truth?
BAFTA award winning filmmaker Molly Dineen examines the concept of truth and the creation of narrative in documentary film making. Robert Flaherty's 'Nanook of the North' is considered the first documentary ever made, and much of it was specially set up for the cameras. We think that modern 'Scripted Reality' is a new phenomenon, but does it have its roots in the earliest days of documentary? We look at the making of a documentary, from idea, to casting, filming and editing to find out how documentary makers craft their story.
Molly Dineen looks at nearly 100 years of documentary making from the archives, as well as looking back on her own career. Her first film 'Home from the Hill' followed retired Solider Hilary Hook returning to England after a career in Kenya, and she has also filmed the London Zoo in crisis, in her BAFTA award winning series 'The Ark', modern celebrity in her portrait of ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, and a Prime Minister in waiting in the 1997 Party Political Broadcast for the Labour Party. Molly's observational style sees her immersing herself in the worlds she shoots, but we also take a look at modern 'Fly on the Wall' programming, speaking to TV producer Jonathan Stadlen about his series 'GP's: Behind Closed Doors'. There's more factual programming around now than ever; but is this a good thing? Are the schedules clogged with cheap programming that sacrifices the truth for style, using fast cutting, music and voice over rather than allowing people to speak for themselves?
We also hear from Kim Loginotto, whose films examine the lives of women worldwide, Radio Producer Simon Elmes and TV Critic AA Gill.
Presenter: Molly Dineen
Producer: Jessica Treen.