Documentary movies are nowadays rather popular among the wide range of movie genres offered for the audience by the entertainment industry, even though they have drastically changed since the times of the first documentary released. In the modern world, the documentaries are created for the entertainment of viewers; otherwise it would be hard to attract the public’s attention.
Though the documentary movies most often had a propagandistic touch to them in the past, now the producers struggle to win audience by something interesting or even extraordinary be it their view on political situation or travelling around the world. They capture the viewers even though they disagree with the author’s position or the information discovered in the documentary.
Documentary Movies: Current Changes in the Genre
The genre of documentary movies has also been subjected to changes in the past decades the most. They came with the changes appearing in the society, technology, politics, and with the increase of new media. Promoting social change was the purpose of documentary movies throughout the history of this genre. The ways a documentary movie could influence the ideas and actions of the members of any society were sometimes beneficial for religious, educational or governmental purposes. It makes things even easier because a documentary is a movie with an opinion and a specific message which makes it perfect for persuasion and influence.
From the start, the documentary movie was supposed to reveal some historical events and was used for propaganda supporting national agendas. Later the genre of documentary movies was popularized as a means for bringing changes in the society. The invention of computers and internet and the wide choice of technological advances such as internet, radio, podcasts, social media, video blogs, and different kinds of applications made the changes in the documentary production take place more rapidly. The possibility to watch full movies online has also made it easier for individuals to find an interesting documentary that could widen their horizons.
Social Impact of Documentaries: Created to Influence the Audience
A documentary movie is known as the means to convey social messages to the people watching it. The movies of this genre raise awareness and often motivate viewers to think over any subject critically and to have their own opinion on any kind of situation. Depending on the subject brought up in the movie, the influence on the audience can have either negative or positive effects. However, there are still cases when documentary movies have no impact at all. This goes for complicated documentaries devoted for economical problems of the modern world. They reveal the problems but show no ways to resolve them, which is of no significance for ordinary people who would actually like to improve their well-being.
Watching a documentary is a two-sided matter. First of all, the viewer should be really interested in the subject matter, so that the movie could touch the hidden strings of their soul. In this case, the documentary may enable the viewer to bring particular changes into their life and make the surrounding world just a little bit better. Otherwise, it will bring no result. For example, if you do not show compassion to homeless people from the start, and you watch a documentary raising the problems of the ones who have lost the place to live, you will remain as insensible as you were before watching that movie. In another case, the documentary may attract those who feel for the homeless, and they can make their own modest contribution to the fight with the poverty in future.
Documentaries bearing social messages can sometimes be rather cruel, but they do bring to light matters that people all over the world should fight against.
Documentaries Revealing Political Schemes: Do They Show the Truth?
Documentaries are often used to blacken opponents in politics. Therefore, it becomes hard to believe the information a political documentary offers its viewers. Everyone should be aware of the fact that events described in political documentaries may be both true and false. Even historical books cannot be trusted completely, as they are written from an author’s perspective and based on the information this or that author found in articles, archives, or any other historical literature.
Any educated person knows that facts should be checked twice before you can trust them completely. On the other hand, such documentaries are good as a means to draw the audience’s attention to any historically significant matter.
Can Documentaries Be Used for Educational Purposes?
Watching documentary movies online together with children became also quite a popular means used for education. As there are different kinds of documentaries, youth can learn about other cultures and nations, wildlife and space only watching those specific movies. However, it should be also accompanied by the adults’ comments, so that the young ones are directed in the correct way and continue their education in the sphere of their interest. The movies should be discussed to share the opinions on the issues raised in the documentary, which may also be a step forward to strengthening the bonds between the family members or between the teacher and the students.
Documentaries can be helpful in encouraging critical thinking among the students. If the teacher chooses a correct documentary movie to watch in class, it may help to eliminate different myths and superstitions existing nowadays and to teach common sense and values to children. The producers of documentary movies also use an interesting manner to open up history of art, music or various abstract things, which helps to involve the viewers and make understanding historical events easier and more fascinating for an average student.
Documentary Movies Are not All Good
The budget of the documentary movies is rather low, which definitely influences its quality. It may also affect the authenticity of the information, if the producer was not careful enough when gathering the facts on the subject revealed in the documentary. The quality of the picture itself will certainly attract less number of viewers, as people nowadays expect movies to be of high quality or even better than that, they anticipate that their expectations will be exceeded. On the other hand, there are cases when so many documentaries of low budget have become very popular and are really worth watching them. The other drawback of watching a documentary movie is based on the fact that some people can take it too close to heart, even though the documentary was created with just a mere purpose of manipulation.
Although the usefulness of documentary movies can be doubted if researched from different angles, they are still rather helpful when it comes to the education of the young generation. However, the educational process should be carefully guided by the adults in this case. The documentary movies possess a greater power to move minds, to change people’s opinions on poverty, child labor, homosexuality, but, on the other hand, documentaries can bring as much harm as good. Whether being interpreted in the wrong way or believed to the letter, documentaries have negative effect on the society. That is why the problems raised by the documentary producers should be chosen carefully as well as the information used to highlight those problems.