Entertainment and Serious Issues in essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:

In this situation, it made it possible for the audience to feel that the individuals were salvageable despite the negative elements of their lives, such as engaging in prostitution or drug abuse. This is much the same as the empathy which may be created in stories where the main characters engage in similar vices, where the author wants the character to be likeable and understandable. In addition to creating a sense of caring what happens to the character, this also facilitates the conveyance of the underlying message. As the audience builds this empathy, it is more likely that they will want to take action based on the information presented to them, and feelings created by the documentary.

It is also possible that certain topics may be broached in a more sensitive manner through use of a pseudo-fictional element. One example of this is in 'Unmade Beds' in which Brenda Monte discusses ethnic and Jewish men in a somewhat derogatory way. As the tone of the entire section is somewhat conversational, it is quite easy to brush past the somewhat discriminatory undertones of the monologue. If a more formal interview style were to be adopted in this film, it is likely that the interviewer may feel uncomfortable and attempt to redirect the conversation, or any derogatory comments may be edited out. In this instance however, they form an integral part of the conversation, and as such provide a deeper understanding of Brenda and her thought processes. There is of course a negative side to this style in that it may make certain sections of the documentary quite uncomfortable for some to watch.

Integrity of the Documentary

The main criticism of introducing pseudo-fictional elements to a documentary may be that it endangers the quality of the content in terms of educational value. It is unlikely however that adding pseudo-fictional elements to a documentary would call into question the integrity of the work. It is well-recognized that any documentary, with or without an incorporated fictional element, may not present an entirely accurate account of an issue. For example, the direction and frame of what is captured on film may greatly affect the image which is seen (Higgins 24), as may editing and production, particularly with recent advances in digital technology. This means that what may appear to be an entirely factual incident captured on film may actually be construed as something entirely different to the real event.

The nature of a pseudo-fictional documentary is likely to actually raise the integrity of some documentaries. The nature of a documentary is such that the information and the scenes which are presented may be taken out of the context of other events and factors integral to the issue (Bruzzi 3). One example of a more formal documentary style in which this happens is 'Hearts and Minds' which caused controversy by the inclusion of some very disturbing scenes. Although these were hard-hitting and may have achieved the desired effect of making the audience take notice, the stark presentation may not have presented a full account of the situation. In contrast to this, in a film such as 'Streetwise' the inclusion of some seemingly inconsequential scenes may in fact increase the overall coverage of the Erin's life, placing other events in context.


The use of a pseudo-fictional style in documentaries allows for a less formal representation of the issue, and may be particularly useful where the director desires the audience to feel empathy. The technique is therefore likely to be particularly effective where the main issues focus on social justice, or where the main aim of the documentary is primarily entertainment. While some may suggest that such a technique may present a somewhat false impression, it may actually add to the integrity of some documentaries by placing the main storyline into context.


Bickford, Donna M. "Using testimonial novels to think about social justice." Education, Citizenship and Social Justice 3.2 (2008): 131-146.

Bruzzi, Stella. New Documentary: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2000.

Corner, John. "What can we say about 'documentary'." Media, Culture and Society 22.5 (2000): 681-688.

Higgins, Lynne a. "Documentary in an age of terror." South Central Review 22.2 (2005): 20-38.

Onion, Rebecca. "King Corn, a film by Aaron Wolf, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, Dir. Aaron Wolff, 2007, ITVS/Mosaic Films, ISBN (DVD): 1-59458-701-9, 88 min. (Distributed by…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Entertainment And Serious Issues In" (2008, December 13) Retrieved December 9, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/entertainment-and-serious-issues-in-25833

"Entertainment And Serious Issues In" 13 December 2008. Web.9 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/entertainment-and-serious-issues-in-25833>

"Entertainment And Serious Issues In", 13 December 2008, Accessed.9 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/entertainment-and-serious-issues-in-25833

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Entertainment Violence

    Entertainment Violence In recent years, politicians and citizen groups have criticized the entertainment industry for its violent content, claiming that it is responsible for violence in society. However, many claim that this consensus is overblown and unfounded by substantial research. There is considerable sociological and statistical data that suggests that violence begets violence and the root factor in the United States has been war, a continuous experience in one zone or another

  • Entertainment and the News Every

    ' Entertainment can also provide additional clarity to understanding a serious issue. For example, a 'man (or woman)-on-the-street' interview can poignantly highlight the seriousness of the credit crisis in a way that lists of facts and figures cannot. Graphics, compelling photographs, and narrative pieces of reporting can make the higher-level concepts behind a news story more memorable, while a technically 'serious' news story might make little impression and thus do

  • Cyber Crime Is a Serious

    These "stepping stone" computers can be located anywhere in the physical world because real-space is irrelevant to activity in cyberspace (Brenner, 379)." The use of stepping stones can make it difficult for law enforcement to find where an attack actually originated. As was previously mentioned in this discussion, Hackers are often used by companies to develop stronger security. Hackers often perfect their techniques at conventions that also feature hacking competitions.

  • Popular Entertainment Venues Family Obligations Are Often

    Popular Entertainment Venues Family obligations are often at the heart of individual drive and guilt. They can drive a person to succeed and they can drive a person to do things that go against their very nature. In the film Alice Adams, the play Buried Child and the television series Everybody Loves Raymond the concepts of family obligation are the underlying motive to plot and action. The thing that is

  • Ethical and Legal Issues Involved in E Commerce

    Ethical and Legal Issues in Ecommerce A Concise Definition of ecommerce Motivation for E-Commerce Ethical and Legal Issues in E-Commerce Enforcement of Legal Directives and Contracts Collecting and Securing Consumer Information Lack of Uniform Laws Copyright and Patent Laws Violation Taxation Other Issues: In Brief Privacy and Security 'Extinction' of Some Small Businesses Electronic Deception Language Issues Declaration During the last one decade, the internet has experienced unprecedented growth. Thanks to this increase in online activity, consumers and businesses from all over the world are

  • Bribery the Issue of Business

    According to Goodman (2001) American companies recognize that a serious dilemma exist. On the one hand, the laws that govern international business for American companies have declared it illegal to provide bribes and kickbacks. Not only are the companies breaking the law but they are using deceitful tactics to break the law so that they will not get caught. On the other hand, "They are answerable to shareholders on Wall

  • Sports Injuries Legal Issues in

    In addition to reckless and intentional action that results in injury, amateur coaching decisions, recommendations, and strategies can lead to injuries and can be considered elements of avoidable risk, constituting a breach of duty based on the expectations of the participants (Fitzgerald 2005). Breach can also occur, of course, through the intentional or reckless behavior of sports participants that shows a disregard of the basic rules and expectations of

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved