The Many Voices of Documentary

The idea of voice in documentary often reflects the director’s intentions and views on the subject.  The voice of a documentary acts as a narrative guide through a visual language as well as audio helping guide the plot.  Without a voice to help steer the narrative of a documentary one ends up with footage with no lesson, rather just an objective slice of reality that has no real purpose or point of view.  

A voice is generally defined as a subjective perspective by which a particular point of view is expressed or represented. Yet how could something so prevalent and at other times unique become so vital when creating a documentary.  By highlighting one specific voice, life is given to a whole representation of the world which can not only serve to give interesting content but it can also display an idea to the world.

An example of an interesting documentary voice is enjoyed in the documentary “Man on a Wire”.  The structural premise of  the film describes, “Using actual footage from the event seamlessly mingled with new re-enactments, filmmaker James Marsh masterfully recreates high-wire daredevil Philippe Petit’s 1974 stunt: performing acrobatics on a thin wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.” This documentary sheds a new light on the whole personally challenging ordeal of Philippe crossing the World Trade Center and to connect his hopeful dreams with a larger world. A Lot of people know of the incident but a small majority of people understand the motive to why he crossed it or how he was able to cross it. By giving  Philippe a voice while also letting the director guide  Philippe’s voice through the means of film we are  able to see a representation of the world otherwise overlooked.

Another documentary that displays a unique film voice of healthier eating with a larger audience is Morgan Spurlock’s “Supersize Me”. Spurlock inserts his personal voice of a “normal Joe” aka Morgan and transforms his junk food experiment into an interesting idea of eating McDonald’s for thirty days.  Through interesting dialogue. In summary  the voice of a documentary acts as a narrative guide through a visual language as well as audio helping guide the plot. Without a director and subjects voice a documentary loses a vital component that helps steer the narrative of the documentary.

 

Works Cited
-IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.
-“Man on Wire.” (Official Movie Site). N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.