chapter  5
36 Pages

Documentary Ethics

Focusing Your Professional Gaze
ByBroderick Fox

This chapter introduces and examines multiple factors every practitioner should consider in developing a personal ethics of documentary. In the documentary realm, where one is making claims to history, to the real, and to the lives of other humans, questions of ethics inevitably arise- or rather, they should. Representation of the European Holocaust is certainly an extreme limit case of documentary representation; few directors can even attempt to base their practices on divine charges with any modicum of legitimacy. Very few documentary makers are actually equipped to make policy decisions on behalf of their subjects. For those producing documentaries involving human subjects, it is also time to produce an informed consent/release form and to have it translated into the requisite languages. A number of releases from credible institutions and broadcast entities come up in a basic Internet search for "documentary release form" that can also be consulted for reference.