Perceived Ethical Conflicts in U.S. Documentary Filmmaking: A Field Report
22 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2020
Date Written: October 2011
The documentary genre in film makes distinctive claims to honesty and truth. While filmmakers do not promise objectivity and balance, and while they all recognize that all expression is crafted and not a simple mirror of reality, the form is defined by its claim to say something honestly about something that really happened. Filmmakers’ ethical judgments implicitly or explicitly revolve around this defining feature of the genre. (Aufderheide, 2007)
This article discusses the results of a study on how documentary filmmakers in the U.S. perceive what common ethical challenges are, and how these filmmakers commonly address those challenges in the absence of a formally articulated code of ethics or shared institutional regulations. Ethics is considered as the application of general moral precepts within professional practice.
Keywords: Documentary Film, Ethics
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