Social Change in a documentary

Movies, films, TV shows, they are all done to entertain the public. Documentaries go into this, but in a different way. They are made to inform, but techniques and strategies can make a documentary come to life.

The purpose of a documentary is to to investigate and compile information on a subject and turn it into a visual/audio experience. They can even be used to argue or make a point. Documentaries can even enforce social change, such as the film Thin Blue Line, who got a innocent man out of prison. The point is to not only show and inform a topic, but move the individual.

I am a journalism major with a minor in film. I chose to do documentary film making because not only do I love them, but my major and minor go hand-in-hand with that field. A journalists job is to provide the public information they need to be free and self-governing. It is up to the journalist to provide the necessary stories to fix or change a part in government, society, etc. Documentaries can hold the same purpose, but in a visual sense. A documentary can open the eyes to people about social injustice. Think of the movie Blackfish, a film that showed how killer whales should not be held in their facilities because it is looked at as abuse for them. It exposed Sea World, and people were enraged. Because of this film, people stopped going to the Sea World parks, as well as countless protests and California banning killer whale shows. It resulted in Sea World announcing that the killer whales currently living at its facilities will be its last as it will stop breeding them immediately and phase out theatrical orca shows. Even other films like Cowspiracy uncovered that the animal agriculture is harming the planet substantially more than any of humans, and that regulation must be done for the well-being of the planet. This has brought in a spike in people becoming vegans, saying that there are now 16 million vegans in the United States.

Because of these films, society made a decision to make a change. Just like a photojournalist can capture a powerful photo to evoke emotion, documentary films can show the public something they need to know so they can make a choice if they still want that to be the reality.

It is truly inspiring to know that documentaries can not only feed the brain with knowledge, but bring people together to change something about their world. I am hoping I can inform the public in my films on things that aren’t usually talked about, and bring people together to make this world a better place.


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