Will documentary cinema still be around in twenty years? And if so, in what form?

On the occasion of 20th anniversary of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival we have invited our guests to join us in contemplating the future of documentary cinema.

In twenty years, we will be emancipated from audio-visual rhetoric and the way in which it legitimizes the tentacular and sophisticated excrescences of liberalism. In twenty years, we will all be busy discussing films at democratic forums that film festivals will still be and the films themselves will be at odds with the frenzied movement of the agglomerated, tacky mass of the visual flows. In twenty years, we will be caught up in radical dissidence and it will be a matter of urgency to share federating visions. In twenty years, we will be busy together, joyfully and seriously, recasting the political and poetic shapes of this cinéma du réel that gives meaning to the world. Creation will invent necessarily-subjective narratives that will transcend the established genres. In twenty years, we will have escaped the loneliness of the digital-web hypermarkets that shape docile consumers. In twenty years, we will be disruptive contemporaries in the comfort of our convictions and in the magnificent discomfort of the risks we take in filming true stories: those of the world, its disasters and achievements, its nightmares and wonders, its irreducible complexity and beauty.

Jean Perret, Film Historian and Scholar


It’s difficult to answer such a question; 20 years is a long period of time and I’m not a soothsayer.

Rather, one can try to imagine what is going to happen in the following years, with the growing importance of contemporary art practices within the traditional documentary field, or the fusion of documentary formats and fictional structures in objects addressed to a larger audience. But if we want to play a short sci-fi game we can imagine that in the world of 2036, a massive 3D invasion will have taken place, having as a consequence an even more dramatic development of all these films favouring entertainment and performance at any price, instead of a deep quiet look on humanity…

That being said, I don’t share the catastrophic tone of your question: “Will documentary films still be around in 20 years?” Of course they will be around! Like any other forms of cinema. According to some prophets of doom, cinema should have been long dead already, but films are still being made and we are constantly wondering how to improve all the processes they require.

Well, my friends, let's have fun! Times are changing but our struggle continues.

Luciano Barrisone, Director of Visions du Réel


Of course, there will be radical changes. The world of cinema may change, the world of media and probably also the way one sees films. It may be even thinkable that cinema and the way cinema exists in our days will not exist anymore in the near future.

But however big the changes might be, one thing will never change: the need and the wish of humans to see, to know, to experience the TRUTH. As long as documentary filmmaking is dedicated to that wish it will exist, whatever its form or its way of seeing might be in the near future.

Ulrich Seidl, Documentarian





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starší články

F5.16DOK.REVUE
30. 10. 2016


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