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Propaganda?

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libertygrl
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Posted 11/18/12 - 11:19 PM:
Subject: Propaganda?
What is the difference between a documentary and propaganda? Any thoughts?
henry quirk
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Posted 11/19/12 - 10:05 AM:

No difference.

The documentarian (like the propagandist) conducts the information through the lens/filter of his or her own head...what is made cannot help but be influenced by the maker (in tone and drection).

The lesson, of course: trust no one at any time.

Noble intentions (like the pursuit of 'objectivity') are always in the eye of the beholder.
libertygrl
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Posted 11/19/12 - 3:31 PM:

This was a question posed to us in film class and as I gave it some thought, I came to pretty much the same conclusion, that all documentary films can only be propaganda. Of course, some films are very much more propagandish than others...
henry quirk
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Posted 11/20/12 - 10:21 AM:

"...some films are very much more propagandish than others..."

Sure. The documentarian tries to minimize it while the propagandist tries to maximize it.

In the end, though: it's all the same.
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 12/09/12 - 3:11 PM:

Disagree !

I don't think these two positions are the same only because they're on the same scale. Being on one end of the scale is not the same as being on the other end of the scale. If 10% and 90% is the same, I want a full review of my school results!

There are perfectly valid ways in which to (qualitatively) be objective. These ways are easy to understand and defend. (independant sources, multiple sources, don't take position,...) I think it's extremely sad if we dismiss improvement on the basis that 'it's never going to be perfect'.
henry quirk
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Posted 12/10/12 - 10:30 AM:

"If 10% and 90% is the same, I want a full review of my school results!"

It's not about "10% and 90%" being the same...it's about varying shades of gray...light gray, dark gray: still 'gray'.

#

"There are perfectly valid ways in which to (qualitatively) be objective. These ways are easy to understand and defend. (independant sources, multiple sources, don't take position,...)"

All of these sources are, or represent, the view of one or more folks...each of these folks is biased in one way or another...after a fashion: it's ALL propaganda.

'e=mc2' is a propaganda of a sort, arrived at by one holding a certain perspective (having a certain 'place' relative to the issue studied).

#

"I think it's extremely sad if we dismiss improvement on the basis that 'it's never going to be perfect'."

I never suggested, or hinted at, that.

I 'do' hint at the notion of taking EVERY-thing and -one with more than one *grain of salt.









*take every-thing and -one with a huge, freakin', BOULDER of salt... wink
Nihil Loc
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Posted 12/15/12 - 6:41 PM:

Propaganda is a bit more devious and disingenuous in its attempt to persuade or present a case. I'd think political documentaries would tend to light up a propaganda meter (suspicion and alarm) on the basis that their messages and portrayals will always conflict with the interest of a certain kind of audience.

I remember watching a doc. about William Burroughs. I was shocked to find out he fatally shot is wife in the head in a game of William Tell (she jokingly taunted her husband to shoot a glass of alcohol off her head and he stupidly tried). The doc. didn't say anything about whether he should've done it.

It's when docs make normative statements, what ought to be the case, or we disagree with what they present as facts, that we claim someone to carry a non conventional bias.

Commercials are far more disingenuous and thus propagandic than documentaries though.
henry quirk
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Posted 12/17/12 - 9:40 AM:

Agreed.

As I say up-thread: 'The documentarian tries to minimize it while the propagandist tries to maximize it.'
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