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Advantages and Disadvantages of Film Documentaries

Essay by   •  February 15, 2013  •  Essay  •  867 Words (4 Pages)  •  10,427 Views

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There are many advantages and disadvantages of film documentaries which can help someone learn about pretty much any topic they want to. Some documentaries are based on scientific concrete facts while others are based on opinion and feelings like the documentary Young Muslim and French.

One of the advantages of the documentary format is that unlike a book or article a documentary gives someone a visual image that can help to reinforce what the documentary is talking about. For example if talking about math one could see math problems and solutions which could help them to understand what is being talked about and with a documentary like the one we watched in class we got to actually see the person that was being focused on which plays more to emotions because unlike with reading getting to see an actual person gives a visual image instead of having to form one. We all know facts cannot be changed but opinions can be with the use of visuals that convey emotion. We could see that Manal felt very compelled to wear her headscarf and that without it she felt she was dishonoring her religion and God. One good example of visuals was when she was showing off her room and there was a big yellow Pokemon Pikachu on her bed that would not have been known if there was no visuals. This helps someone to see she is a regular teenage girls who is just trying to live her life that way she thinks is best.

Another advantage is that we could actually hear Manal and others talk about their opinions. While this can be done in other formats like in a book it is again good to be able to see and hear someone talk about their feelings because it makes it more realistic and gives a more lasting effect to the subject that is being spoken about. You can also hear peoples tone of voice which can to convey emotion but also allows the viewers to get firsthand experience on how someone feels about something that cannot be experienced in another format with no sound. The story was personal to Manal.

However, there are also limitations to the documentary format simply because a documentary is meant to be watched and can only contain so much detail because of time constraints. In Young Muslim and French we get to see very limited opinions on the subject because there simply isn't enough time to interview every Muslim girl in the school to see what their feelings are. There is also no time to interview parents, all the teachers or government officials to see what they feel about the subject because if they did the documentary would be hours and hours longer than people would be willing to watch.

Another disadvantage to the documentary format is there the is limited amount of information that can told again because of time constraints. Very little was said as to why there was a ban on head scarves but also was Muslim the only religion targeted or were Christian Crosses no longer allowed as well and how far did the school go to stop other religious

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