Documentary films can be exciting, delightful, sensitive, boring, informative, sensual, observant or journalistic – and occasionally they can even be entertaining or downright funny. The latter does not happen very often, though. Perhaps directors are afraid to betray the truth or reality by making it too amusing? Yet for a film to change things and open up the audience’s eyes to the world around them, the director has to take a critical look at his/her formal approaches as well. And in this context, humour is an excellent eye-opener.
We want to entertain. Laughing is good for you, and it’s healthy to poke fun at experts, the elite and the rich. It may not be quite as good for them in return, but it is healthy for us and for society. Especially if you remember to laugh at yourself once in a while.
Trying to resemble a fiction film is not an entertaining venture in itself. When the form of a film becomes so predictable that it irritates the audience and overshadows the content, the director will already be far removed from contributing any significant artistic expression and the film will lose its unique voice. And a unique voice is imperative for any film – because without it, the film is reduced to pop or mainstream culture.