This Urge

Perhaps because this urge to investigate, testify, confess, celebrate or mourn is so embedded in our psyche, having been a part of our liturgies and cultural practices for centuries, we seldom recognize that this is quite often what many documentary filmmakers seek to do as well. There is a sense in which the films that work best are able to tap into these religious and culturally rooted themes. They cannot, in other words, help but gravitate to these deeply human forms of expression. If you are a filmmaker, and you hope to craft meaningful and moving films, exploring this connection will help you understand the why and the how, and help you to craft meaningful experiences, while inspiring and connecting with your subjects and your audience. If you are not a filmmaker, but want to understand and interact with nonfiction film in a deeper way, exploring the way in which these films touch and move us will help you engage with the subject matter of these films with a renewed understanding. It is my hope that you will accompany me on this journey, in search of the truth, the truth that truly sets us free.

– from the upcoming book “How to Film the Truth: The Story of Documentary Film As a Spiritual Journey” to be released in the Spring of 2018 by Wipf & Stock