In class, I screened the HBO Documentary, The Trials of Ted Haggard, about the “fallen” evangelist. The documentary raises some major issues about media ethics.

1. To what extent should someone making a documentary explain the context of an event? For example, we really don’t learn much about the pastor’s settlement with his church.

2. When a documentary focusses on one person, should we not also learn about other key characters? There is no in-depth interview with the man who had relations with the pastor. He just states his position and that’s that.

3. Does the documentary filmmaker need to tell us “what side” she is on: is she making the pastor look bad, or just letting him talk without a point of view?

Update on April 21, 2009

More on Pastor Ted’s troubles.

Originally posted April 14, 2009 at PolicyByBlog

One Comment

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    Original Reader Comments (30)

    After seeing the documentary I would have liked to know more about the specifics in this case. Mr. Haggard is presented by the film makers as kinf of a goofy, happy, spiritual man who made a few huge mistakes. I found it hard to feel bad for him and his family because of his personal actions but then again I don’t think that is the point of the documentary. I believe documentaries are made to highlight any issue or aspect of life that the film makers are interested in and want to present. Therefore, they can tell the story how ever they choose. Although they are usually more objective in nature I think that it would be perfectly ethical to make a doumentary showcasing how wonderful Mr. Haggard is or how horrible he is, that is simply there decision. A few other characters are presented in this brief documentary but the focus is on Mr. Haggard which seems fitting.In reguards to my opinion, I thought the documentary could have used more detail about the settlement and wrong doings but again that is up to the film maker, we just get to watch what they produce. I don’t think the film maker needs to tell us which “side” she is on explicitly. That is not the point. She can rather present any information she wants in any fashion and hope that her viewers respond to what she has put together. If this were a news cast I would expect a detail list of facts and investigation but I do not believe that is the goal of documentaries.
    April 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterte6506

    The amount of context needed for any particular documentary should be decided on a case by case basis. I don’t think a detail like Haggard’s settlement with the church is all that necessary in this film. The story here is how incredibly far the Haggard family’s status has fallen. The film did a nice job of showing this and the Haggard’s demanded sympathy because of it.

    A documentary like this one, which doesn’t cover a controversial debate- and instead simply contrasts a person’s current lifestyle with the one they used to have- doesn’t require in-depth interviews with other key characters. The quick touch points with the supporting characters is all this film needs to accurately show Haggard’s distress. Any closer to other characters and the film is moving too far away from the real story.

    There’s no real debate going on in this film, thus no need for the filmmaker to say what side she’s on. The question “do the Haggard’s deserve this?” is answered by Ted Haggard himself. Also, Haggard does mention the irony of the church not forgiving him, but he’s not actively trying to create a conflict with this statement. The conflict in this film exists between the Haggard’s and their new lives away from the church.

    I don’t think it’s that difficult for the filmmaker to be objective in this case. I thought she was.
    April 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwachashi

    After watching the documentary, I would have liked to seen more details in the case. Specifically, Mr. Haggard’s settlement with the church and why they found it necessary to ostracize his family from the state until things calmed down. Maybe he was under contract with the church and he had certain rules and standards to live up to…this should have been explained.

    I believe it is up to the filmmaker to decide how many characters he or she decides to highlight. This may affect how the viewer views the documentary negatively or positively. For me, I felt like other key characters needed more camera time and for this reason I felt the documentary was insufficient. I also feel like the filmmaker portrayed Haggard as a very awkward man who always seemed to be laughing or smiling in a weird way. I almost feel like the filmmaker could have been more objective in her portrayal of Haggard.

    I think it is up to the filmmaker to decide whether or not she wants to tell what side she is on. I think its more important to present the facts in such a way that the viewer can understand what really happened in this case and how the people involved were affected. Its not so much about what side the filmmaker is on in this case, but rather how the Haggard’s lives have changed since they have been kicked out of the state of Colorado.
    April 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdaslonka

    If we, the audience, don’t receive the whole context of an event, how do we know that the documentary is giving an accurate depiction of the situation? Any situation taken out of context is more likely to be misrepresented and misunderstood, which is why background and follow up information is so important. I agree with te6506 and daslonka in that I would like to have been told more of the specifics of Mr. Haggard’s case.
    It is important to learn about the other key characters, but is appropriate that the audience be the most familiar with the main character. I think it is crucial that the individuals chosen as key characters in a documentary are chosen wisely and that they constructively contribute to the story line. I would have liked to have heard more from the man who had relations with Mr. Haggard—he could have definitely contributed to the story.
    I think that it is only fair (ethical) for the filmmaker to disclose what side she is on. I think that knowing the filmmaker’s side will give a viewer a more accurate interpretation of the documentary on which to base his or her opinions regarding the documentary’s content. In this case, I believe the filmmaker is letting Mr. Haggard talk about his situation, portraying a sympathetic point of view.
    April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKUkris1

    I also would have liked to hear more details about Mr. Haggard’s case. When the director chooses to omit certain details, it makes it look like they are hiding something just to prove their point. Also, the decision to omit the details of the settlement between the church and Mr. Haggard make them look just as guilty.

    I don’t think the director has a responsibility to include all the facts and characters. It may be a documentary, but the director is still telling a story and has his or her own vision of what it should be like. However I think key characters, such as the man Mr. Haggard was involved with, should have been included. If anything it could have strengthened the documentary.

    In terms of whether or not the director has a responsibility to state his or her opinion, I agree with others in saying that it’s not necessary. No matter how she feels, I am going to have my own opinion. Viewers should be able to see whether or not the director was being objective, and from there decide of they feel.

    Part of watching a documentary is seeing a certain experience through the eyes of the characters, and through their personal accounts. Viewers need to be objective when watching a documentary and really think about a possible agenda. In many films, the director’s agenda is clear- the most perfect example being the one and only, Michael Moore. If a viewer wishes to take everything in the documentary as the truth, that’s fine. But there are always two sides of a story and it is easy for directors to forget that.
    April 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDover

    During the whole movie I was wondering about the settlement/serverance that he received because there is no way he could be banned from the state of Colorado. I really feel that part should of been explained much better. Wheter it be a news clip from the past or an interview with some of his fellow leaders. To me, that would’ve filled in a lot of loose ends.

    Although I didn’t doubt that Ted had homosexual affairs with Mike Jone, it would’ve been nice to have an in-depth interview which provided confirmation. There is no reason HBO shouldn’t have pursued that unless Mike denied the request. Mike Jones should’ve played a much bigger role in this film. It would’ve made it much more controversial and interesting (but I guess it was sufficiently interesting).

    The documentarian has no obligation to tell us what side he/she is on. Honestly, I think we are smart enough to figure that one out. If they do tell us what side they picked then that will be in the back of our minds the whole movie.
    April 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike John 1013

    First of all, I think that the documentary about Ted Haggard was poorly created. The documentary was very one sided, and seemed to leave out many critical details. I think that it is very important to explain the context of an event. It would have been nice to know more about the church and the people in it. The church made the family leave Colorado for a settlement, but why? It seems wrong for people to treat somebody so cruelly, so there must have been more to the story.
    It is very important to learn about the other characters. One guy admits that he not only had relations with the pastor, but that he sold him meth as well. I am assuming that there are many other guys who had relations with him as well. I would have also like to know more about Ted’s family. We don’t hear much about his wife, and even less from his kids. They were forced to go through the experience as well, so I think they are very important to the situation.
    I do not believe that the film maker needs to tell his/her side in their documentary. A good film maker would be able to tell their side but also include all of the details for the other side as well so that the viewer can make their own decision.
    April 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersugar086

    I would also have liked to hear more about Ted’s church and the settlement. The documentary really never showed much of the church’s side of things, and to me, it made the documentary feel incomplete. It also makes me question the credibility of the film maker.

    I personally like to examine as many different viewpoints when watching documentaries. I believe it’s up to the viewer to make his or her own decision or opinion of what’s being shown. The portrayal of Ted was very one-sided and never went into details on his homosexual partner, someone who could spin the viewer’s opinion differently and shed a different light on Mr. Haggard.

    I would like to know the side the film makers is on but usually it’s pretty obvious. But in no way do I think they should have to, that is their right.
    April 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjthought87

    In regard to whether or not the documentary should explain the context of an event, I would say yes- to a certain extent. Because I knew nothing about Ted Haggard’s story, I felt I spent much of the time simply catching up. I I needed a little more backstory on Haggard, rather than just a few random flashbacks to past sermons (although those were somewhat helpful).

    I would also have appreciated getting to know the other key characters better. The filmmaker spent a little time on his wife, but almost no time with the man with whom Haggard had relations. An interview with him would have proved interesting and might have given me a better idea of how long Haggard’s “internal struggle” had been going on. I did, however, appreciate that the filmmaker at least appeared to make an effort not to embarrass Haggard’s family. Though I found myself wanting to know more about his wife and his children (or how his parent’s felt about this), perhaps the filmmaker was simply respecting their privacy. Or perhaps she just didn’t take the effort to go there; I don’t know.

    I actually really liked that this filmmaker did not seemt to pick a side on the trial. She asked Haggard some tough questions, but she didn’t glorify him or incriminate him (at least not anymore than he incriminated himself). I think documentary filmmakers should simply present all the facts and all sides of the argument and let the viewer decide his/her own point of view.
    April 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSongbomb21

    I felt like the documentary was simply for entertainment. The filmmaker doesn’t focus on any of the facts of the “case.” I felt it really unnerving that the only questions the person behind the camera asked were tough, emotional questions. Sometimes it even seemed that she was trying to get a rise out of Mr. Haggard, or to elicit an emotional response. She was trying to film a train wreck.

    I would have loved to hear more about the thoughts of a lot of characters. The wife and children didn’t say much regarding the matter. Also, the thoughts of people who used to avidly support him would have been really interesting. Do they feel betrayed? Do they still believe in him?

    As I stated earlier, I think it’s obvious that the filmmaker is trying to make the Mr. Haggard look bad. Not so much in the case that he is a villain, but that he is a fool. She portrays him as a naive and helpless individual.
    April 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersunshine

    I think the filmmaker did a good job in terms of keeping the audience entertained. Do I feel like I learned a lot about Ted Haggard? No. I think in order for the viewer to make a decision regarding his or her opinion of the man much more research needs to be done.

    If the documentary is being made over the events which happened more inverviews should have been conducted. But since the documentary was about Ted Haggard I don’t believe it is necessary to find out more about other characters. The focus was directed to get to know the pastor and make a personal judgement on the pastor himself. Sure, it was one-sided but documentaries tend to be that way.

    I think it’s the filmmaker’s decision to inform the viewer of their opinion. No matter what, enough information should be presented for the viewer to not have a completely bias view of the information being presented.
    April 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCiaoBella

    After watching this HBO documentary, I really think the filmmaker could have done a better job showing all sides to the story. I cannot understand why the man who supposedly had relations with Ted was not interviewed. Could it be that he turned down the interview. I do not think that is likely considering he now wrote a book about his experiences–he seems to be a bit of an attention seeker.

    I also think the filmmaker stated her opinion on Ted a little too openly. To me, it seemed like she wanted the audience to feel bad for him. I think she focused too much on the fact that his family was poor and forced to move around, and not enough on what he actually did (or didn’t do.)

    Basically, I just don’t think we got the whole story and I felt like the filmmaker was persuading me to feel a certain way by only showing Ted in one way.
    April 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWMJ220

    As far as explaining the context of an event, I feel a documentary would do well to cite credible sources that
    reported or can report on the event, showing tv news clips, newspaper articles, and interviews with key characters in events is probably the most honest and close to objective way to explain any historic event.

    An interview with the man Haggard had relations with would have made the documentary seem a little more objective, not to mention interesting, but if the documentary maker tried to interview him but was refused, she could always put that in the documentary somewhere, so at least the audience knows she tried.

    I didn’t feel the documentary picked sides, but did a fairly good job of just showing how Haggard was dealing with his situation, although more time talking to the wife alone, or the family would have been interesting. I just had an idea, that it might be interesting to hear what Haggard thought of the documentary after it was released.
    April 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdugarte

    I feel that the details of the settlement that were made with Ted Haggard and his church should be more of an after thought in this case. This documentary seemed like it was purposely made to focus on Ted Haggard and minimize the surrounding details of his life and situation. The audience could easily research the details of the settlement or the filmmaker could include a web address of where the audience could go for more information if wanted.

    As previously stated I think that this documentary was filmed in a way that was meant to highlight the emotional journey that Ted Haggard went through and minimize surrounding details. However, an interview with the man whom Haggard had relations with would probably have given the audience a better understanding of the nature of the relationship, whether it was purely sexual or if it was also an emotional relationship.

    Documentaries should be filmed from a neutral point of view unless otherwise stated in the title or beginning of the film. When a documentary is filmed by someone who has a strong opinion about the subject it greatly effects the nature of the film. Therefore the filmmaker should include their opinion in order to warn audiences that it is not an unbiased view of the situation.
    April 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDuke44

    I found the Ted Haggard case (and documentary) extremely interesting. I was hooked the moment things got going. I was facinated with this man’s life, the lies he had lived, and the punishments he personally suffered through as a result of his actions. In my opinion, I felt the documentary was even too short. I would have liked to know more about his background and his life as a evangalist. Knowing more about the evangalist community would have helped me understand his reasoning behind staying with his wife (and his wife staying with him for that matter). As an uneducated viewer, I would have liked to know more about the church, their practices, and Ted Haggard’s role.

    Although centered around Ted, the documentary could have also touched more on other key players in his downfall. As I said earlier, knowing more would help me understand his thought process and his reasoning behind his actions.

    I believe it is important for documentary filmmakers to remain as unbiased as possible. Documentaries are made to edcuate and expose people to things they do not know or understand. By creating a biased view, it could skew the viewer’s opinion and not let them think about the situation for themselves.
    April 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkew27

    I would have liked to about other key characters in the situation, for example, the man that Ted had relations with. I would also like to see what Ted’s sons had to say about the situation. A documentary should explain the context of an event. Before watching this documentary, I knew nothing of Ted Haggard or his actions. I was lost for the few first minutes of the documentary. It would have been better to have more background info on the situation. As far as the documentary filmmaker and their views, I believe that they should remain objective. They shouldn’t choose sides. There are some scenes in which the filmmaker made the pastor look bad. For example, when Ted is talking about his relations with the man, the filmmaker cuts to clips of him preaching against homosexuality. As an audience we are made aware of Ted’s faults near the beginning of the documentary. I don’t know how necessary it is to have those scenes. Perhaps the filmmaker included those scenes for entertainment value.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteraimsk09

    Personally, I felt that the documentary left a lot to be desired. I felt that it was really one-sided and didn’t even come close to telling the whole story. Whether or not the director wants to show their opinion they need to at least provide context. Throughout the whole thing I was trying to piece together details that I knew where not being presented. The settlement with the church is a huge detail and is essential in understanding the story.

    I understand that the director might want to use the documentary as an art form in presenting their opinion; however, I think this could still be accomplished while introducing the other characters at the same time. I would have like to learn more about the other man and his family’s outlook on the situation. It would help in understanding his thoughts and reactions pertaining to the situation.

    I don’t think the film maker needs to “tell us” what side she is on. That was made pretty clear. She definitely made Ted Haggard look bad and did not give him a point of view but that is ultimately her choice. How she decides to present the story is her choice, she just needs to understand that people who look at it objectively may not agree with her opinion.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbuster

    Those making the documentary film should be responsible for explaining the whole context of the event. In the case of Ted Haggard, I had no idea what was going on and the documentary seemed to jump around at times. I would like to know more about the specifics. I am still confused at how he got kicked out of his state of Colorado. I am pretty sure he has the right to live where he wants to and it seems silly that all of this was happening with a church that he started.
    I think other key characters should be addressed in documentaries. It is nice to know other’s opinions and views of the situation. I agree that there should have been more of an interview with the man Haggard had relations with. We really did not learn the whole story. We saw some views of his wife, but I feel those were pretty fake and she was not sure how to respond to the camera in her face.
    I do not think the documentary filmmaker needs to tell us what side they are on. Sometimes, it is easy for the viewer to figure out for themselves and the idea of knowing may ruin the whole documentary. If someone already knows one’s view, then they may side or disagree with them. This could alter a lot of crucial information.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterK523

    I do think that there should have been more explanation of the events in Ted Haggard’s life. The documentary seemed choppy and you weren’t quite sure how much time had passed or how he had gotten to where he was. There were a lot of loose ends that I felt had not been tied up. I feel like the person behind the camera knew the whole story, but everyone else was left in the dark.

    Even though the documentary focused on Ted Haggard, we should have gotten some more insight to the other main components in his life. We heard very little from his life and his “lover.” At times I thought that his wife may have left him because she was not seen or talked about at all.

    I don’t think the filmmaker should tell us what “side” she was on because she should have filmed a complete and well rounded piece. I do not think she did that at all. The documentary was too short for how much information and controversy surrounded this man.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersenior.09

    I think that it is an ethical issue when documentary makers conveniently leave out details and context. Yes, the movie showcases the pastor’s less than graceful sexual activity and possible drug addiction, but it doesn’t go into detail. And because documentaries strive to be “objective art” presenting all the facts should be an important part of the filmmakers motives.

    I think it would make a stronger documentary if more characters/sides were explored. In Ganja Queen, we saw at least more than one side of the issue and that gave viewers a deeper intake on what was really going on.

    Pelosi’s liberal beliefs can be seen throughout the text with her take on anti-gay sermons. I also, think that she leaves her beliefs out by letting Ted tell his own story and answer his own questions.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermegs527

    I agree this documentary didn’t give enough info about the settlement with the church. This decision to not may have been the decision of the filmmaker but also could’ve been because of the church. I do think it is helpful to include the context of an event because then viewers can formulate an informed opinion on the issue.
    I think this documentary could’ve shown more of the other key figures but that was not the director’s priority… I guess that decision depends on the intention of the film. This was more of a documentary about Ted’s life since this incident rather than about the case itself. However, I personally would have liked more in depth interviews with the other people involved so I could better understand the different positions in this case.
    I do not think the film maker needs to explicitly state their position because people have no moral or ethical obligation to do so. Viewers can take from it what they please and that is that. i do think the film maker needs to make sure all facts are correct if it is to be a documentary but only focusing on Ted isn’t ‘wrong.’ I don’t think she made Ted look bad but rather was too vague with details beyond him and brief thoughts from others.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily87

    1. The amount or choice of context given depends on the purpose of the documentary. Since I believe documentaries serve an initial purpose, I also think the extent/type of context given is subjective.

    2. We should also learn about other characters that influence the focal character. These other characters shape the story and position in which the specific person is.

    3. I don’t think she “has to” tell us on which side she is. However, I do think it would serve better ethical discussion if she did.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdude.hey

    If I had to comment on the “fairness” of the film though, I would have to say that it is very fair to Ted. The reason I say this is because I feel that it counters the media’s take on his situation. It gives him the opportunity that he never had with the media.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdude.hey

    1. In the making of a documentary the context of the event needs to be explained in great detail. I believe as a filmmaker, you are doing the audience a disservice if you do not explain the back story. It is only fair for a documentary to explain both sides so the audience can then decide where they stand after watching the film. However, if not enough back story is explained, then it is easy for the audience to side with with part of the story as opposed to the other part of the story.

    2. I also believe it is important to learn about all of the key characters involved so as to remain neutral. This HBO documentary would have been more in-depth and better done if we got to hear more from the other side. However, I can see how you need to be fair to those you are filming and share with them everyone filmed for the documentary. Therefore, I can see how Ted would not have been as welcoming of the HBO crew if he knew the person who brought these allegations of him to the public was also being filmed for the movie.

    3. I don’t think the filmmaker needs to tell us the side she is on. It is not fair to the subject of the film because the audience is more likely to side with the filmmaker if it is in her perspective. If someone is willing to let you film a very important part of their life, you need to remain neutral.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJacquelann

    Having not seen her previous documentary “Friends of God” that covered the life of Ted Haggard and other fundamentalist evangelical Christian leaders, I�m curious how little or much director Alexandra Pelosi changed her approach for this documentary. She seems relaxed in her coverage however, trying to gain an inside seat to the Haggard �one-way-fail-train� that is his life after falling from grace.

    I would also liked to have seen more personal coverage of the man the pastor had relations with instead of trying to piece together his side from a collection of sound bites. Plus, the clips that were chosen do present a biased view of this man as trying to make as much money off this incident as possible. While it is possible that this is his true intentions, there is no point in the documentary where this man gives his side of the story up close like Pelosi�s talks with Haggard.

    The doc�s style is actually similar to the Ganja Queen�s use of frenzied mash-up sequences of the media�s coverage of Haggard to pushthe documentary along. Pelosi succeeds in portraying a deified figure in the nation�s religious hierarchy as a regular person who has to try to support his family in a time of crisis just like everyone else. I believe that with the documentary�s short running time, Pelosi tried to give a glimpse into Haggard�s life as honest as possible. However, with the ability to use this documentary as a public forum to his followers, I remain suspect at how much of his personal side Haggard actually reveals is honest and not just pre-scripted pity.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBananagrams

    I really liked this documentary; however, I did notice many mistakes that I think the director made. I defiantly think that the director should have had more footage about the evidence of the allegations toward the pastor. Also, I think the director should have focused more on the case of the church and him being exiled out of Colorado for this deed. I think the director was not biased, but left out key significant parts to a good documentary. I would have liked to see more about what the wife and kids were going through. It was more of Ted being like were moving and theres no other option they know this is what we have to do.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbosco

    It is very important for a film maker to examine multiple sides of a story when doing a documentary. I think that it is important because to come to an overall truth on a subject, discussion from both sides needs to be prevalent. If the documentary focuses primarily on on subject without consulting other participants in the story, it leaves an incomplete representation of the events. Each side tells their end of the story and may not disclose information that is detrimental to their story. In the documentary of Ted Haggard,

    I felt that they should have included more interviews from members of New Life church to get a better idea of their argument against Pastor Ted Haggard. The viewers do not get the whole story on Ted Haggard’s fall from grace. The film should have interviewed Mike Jones in depth more, rather than just showing how he is profiting from the situation. The documentary seems to focus too much on the hardships and conflicts Pastor Ted endures during his time in exile. You do not get the full extent of the story, and the movie portrays Ted as having severe economic troubles along with not being able to obtain a job. I do feel that the movie left out important information to how much Ted Haggard was paid, along with the fact that he owns a $700,000 home. The viewres should know that he made over $138,000 since 2006 and was given $100,000 by the church in the settlement. Knowing this information, I feel that the documentary chose to omit this information to get the viewer to be more emotional to Pastor Ted’s hardships.

    I do feel that it is important for a film maker to try and stay neutral while making a documentary. I think that by including information and interviews from the opposing sides is a crucial aspect of telling an accurate story. However, at the end of the documentary, I feel that the film’s creator should have a segment where they talk about what they saw, how they felt, and what their view points were going into the project, and coming out of the project. I feel that some sort of commentary at the end of the movie will help prevent documentaries from distorting the truth along with giving the viewer a better idea of the overall theme of the movie.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergretzky99

    Anyone filming a documentary should be responsible for reporting the ENTIRE story. If this is not going to be the case, it needs to be made clear to the viewers. Most viewers assume when watching a documentary that they are getting 100% of the story and the truth. If all that is being reported is the good side or the bad side, the audience is completely misinformed, and will create their opinions off of the wrong, and not entire story. If you are taking on the responsibility of filming the documentary, this should be part of it. It should also be necessary, in addition to getting the whole story, to provide interviews from those people that are part of the whole story. This helps validate what the person filming is trying to tell, whether good or bad. These interviews are necessary. It is important for a documentary film maker to tell stories from a neutral standpoint, and like I said…if this is not the case, it needs to be made as CLEAR as possible so viewers know what they are watching and that the purpose of the documentary is to provide the positive or the negative, not both.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterinot1987

    Context depends on the type documentary. The settlement with the church didn’t seem as important as Haggard’s day to day life after the incident. This was the story and the point of the documentary. The documentary filmmaker gave plenty of context on Haggard’s life before the scandal and year or so after. So context depends on the type documentary and what the story is, what’s entertaining.

    I think that an in-depth analysis of key characters should be a part of the documentary. It would have been informative if the prostitute was also a part of the documentary. However, I do see why he wasn’t a major part of the documentary, because it was on Haggard’s life after the incident and the prostitute wasn’t a part of his life then.

    It would be nice to know the the filmmaker’s perspective but at the same time it would ruin the documentary. I say this because then the audience would have a bias on Haggard and the documentary. Just letting Haggard talk and be himself is plenty for the audience to make their own mind up.
    April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfabi.f.babi

    I think because a documentary filmmaker is not a reporter, they have the right to create the film in any way they see fit. However, as a way to make the film more appealing, I think they should offer background information from a large number of sources and give the audience the most complete story possible. I don’t think the filmmaker needs to let us know what side he or she is on because that allows the audience to choose their own side. A film should make you think and question. I suppose to filmmaker could edit the movie to make it very clear which side he or she is on ie. Michael Moore, but if they stay relatively neutral it allows for more thought and input from the audience.
    April 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJayhawk411

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