Notes on Truth

Penny Lane, in Filmmaker Magazine, discusses post-truth and what it might mean for filmmakers.
Notes on Truth (Or, Documentary in the Post-Truth Era)
“Since Election Day, many in the documentary community have been asking the question, “What do we do now?” The most common response is, “We need to make great politically-engaged films.” I hope a lot of people do exactly that; I might even do it myself. Okay, I probably won’t. My answer is a lot more basic: we need to love, seek and defend truth.

I’m not fucking around, you guys: the truth might be hard to find sometimes, but it exists, and it is crucially important to the survival of our species. As plainly stated by the great moral philosopher Harry Frankfurt, “Without truth, we either have no opinion at all concerning how things are or our opinion is wrong. One way or the other, we do not know what kind of situation we are in.” The seeking of truth and the related love of knowledge — what Bill Nichols calls epistephilia — is the highest calling of the documentary pursuit.1 We chase it ourselves, and we hope to inspire it in others.”

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