Powerful Documentary Filmmaking

MANIFESTO

Values for Storytelling

 

THE WHOLE HAS A HIGHER POSSIBILITY OF HEALTH THAN THE INDIVIDUAL.


No single individual can comprehend the “truth” of our reality. Every perspective is in danger of harming the wisdom and knowledge needed for us to thrive in rich and resilient communities. It is only in our trust in each other to hold pieces of our truth that we can act with more responsibility, possibility and agility. We all move back and forth between fear and love in a complex dace that involves environmental influences, biology, historical realities and essence. If we are fortunate we are called toward this higher possibility, if we are to succeed we will be met with help, if we are to heal we will respond to another’s need, if we are brave we will be honest with ourselves.

ALL OF OUR STORIES CONTRIBUTE TO THE INTANGIBLE TRUTH OF OUR COLLECTIVE REALITY.


Human beings naturally move towards health and well-being. The more stories we are exposed to the richer our possibilities to respond in our lives. Because of global disparities in economic wealth, efficacy to influence and shape the regulations of our systems, including business, education, health, safety, land and natural resources, disparities exist among the stories we tell. Further exacerbating this disparity is access to technology, skills and cultural literacy to rich communities of film and media experts and artists. Central to this disparity, are stories that align and re-enforce our existing structures and identities become viable and easily supported. Stories that create an inefficiency or drain this resource model may be told on a few occasions, but cannot sustain overtime.

 

NO ONE PERSON HOLDS THE “TRUTH” AND NO STORY CAN BE TOLD OBJECTIVELY.


Stories are not “real” because they use a medium or a form said to document real life (such as documentary filmmaking or still photos that have received no further manipulation beyond the choices made by the photographer when the shot was captured). A painting produced by a holocaust prisoner showing the spirits of the dead in the ashes in the air can be more “authentic” then the photo documents the Nazis produced during World War II.   No medium is more “true” then another and no story is objective.

ADVERSITY AND TRAUMA CAN GIFT US WITH AN INSIGHT INTO THE VISCERAL DEPTH OF OUR RELATION TO EACH OTHER.


If offered a path to heal, with patience, compassion and respect, the stories that emerge can heal our psyches as a whole, holding the space for multiple narratives, opening the pathways of creativity, many ways of knowing and root our lives and our communities in a deeper sense of worth. We can be courageous when we know we belong to each other and humble ourselves to how much we do not know.

 – by Joanna Kohler