I just saw Amir Bar-Lev on CNN. He was talking about “My Kid Could Paint That,” his latest documentary that is playing in select cities.
He talked about the role of a documentary maker in light of that film, where the big question was whether 4-year-old Marla actually paints the amazing abstracts that are selling for big money. By the time those allegations arose, he was already 6 months into filming and quite close to the family.
The family is not happy with the end result, which Bar-Lev let open. He said something to the effect that he couldn’t say what the family wanted him to say, only what he saw from his experience. So his experience was that he had no idea what the truth was, so that’s how he reported it.
I agree with this approach- in Socially Aware Media, you are presenting the truth as best as you can figure it out, in other people’s words. Even if that doesn’t go with what people want you to say, it is your responsibility to say it.