Zelig Film School essay: What is a Documentary?

VIEWS: Three Zelig Film School students agreed to write a small essay when asked which three words come to your mind when you hear DOCUMENTARY
Tue Steen Müller
Previous founder/editor of the DOX magazine.
Published date: February 24, 2020
Zelig Film School-Lucija-featured

In November I was at the Zelig Film School in Bolzano to meet the new students. I organised a small game: Which three words come to your mind when I say DOCUMENTARY.
We put the words on the whiteboard: Freedom Willing Choice Poetic Detail Glimmer Accidential Case Patience Strings Impact Storytelling Memorable Curiosity Connection Testimony Creative Chance Vessel Sensibility Instinct Relationship Perspective Feel Aesthetic Subjective Respectful Visual Empathy Recognition Heritage Job Mediation Responsibility Game Trade Cheating Time Place POV Unpretentious Free Personal Quest Passion Opinion Teamwork Observing Informing Meaning Intense Identity Summerbreeze Evidence Pursuit Intuition Honest Pure Humanity Thoughtprovoking Contact Problems Forgotten Improvisation Discovery Growth Research Portrait Listening Memory Cinema Art Microcosmos Serendipity Nuance Undermine Exposure Life Love Lagrein.

And three students agreed to write a small essay inspired by the words and our discussions during this first week of their three-year stay at the school: Lucija Ilijić wrote in English, Kaspar Panizza in German and Matilde Ramini in Italian.

The first one by Lucija Ilijić comes here, the other two will follow soon:

The task to write an essay consisting of words we have used during a lecture with Tue Steen Muller at ZeLig was not an easy one, but this is what I have come up with:

What is a documentary? Although answering the question might seem hopeless at first, this baffling documentary case should be seen as a creative and artistic game of a few enthusiasts pursuing their dream of making sure a good deal of fascinating but often disturbing aspects of humanity are remembered. It is a poetic quest for revealing the insatiable human curiosity for intimate connections, the honest pursuit of the meaning of life which takes into consideration different perspectives on the stunning world around us. Nevertheless, what makes it possible for a story to be told is teamwork, a rather important element which often requires filmmakers …


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