Film Nick Fraser of the BBC's Storyville (which despite threats of closure of close a few years ago is now seemingly going strong) has a piece in today's The Observer about the power of documentary. Not only do I appreciate the way in which he doesn't spoil Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell this opening section resonates with me in an odd way:
"My life has been spoiled by docs. I cannot deal with most fictional representations any more – because reality seems too interesting. Dostoevsky, Vasily Grossman and Richard Yates apart, no novelists quite match up to the hits of reality I get each week. Have I become a voyeur? Am I improved by so much exposure to the lives of others? I couldn’t say, but the experience doesn’t seem negative to me. Meanwhile I can say categorically that docs have become an irreplaceable cultural form of our times. We would miss them if they went. We would miss them very much. I thought of this while watching a Brazilian film about a hang-gliding champion sentenced to death and executed in Indonesia for smuggling 13kg of cocaine in a spar of his glider. His life and last days were conveyed by means of his Skyping and the camera he’d smuggled on to death row. This film wouldn’t have been made even five years ago."
Exactly. Outside of Time Lord adventures I've never been a huge reader of fiction, preferring reality or at least the prose filter of reality instead.  But, and this is the contradiction, I certainly watch a lot more fictional than non-fiction including literary adaptations or the very books I spurn.  The Observer has also post a list of films chosen by practitioners.

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