In the 21st century, this increasingly web-connected world may at times feel like everyone everywhere is trying to tell you something.
Throughout history, societies have had voices that tell stories to pass on the news, reinforce or change values, or whatever. Today, in addition to professional news media, peer-to-peer news (think of Egypt) has emerged, a manifestation of Marshall McLuhan’s global village – bless the visionaries – yet often cannot provide the thoughtful reflection that requires time and resources and the storyteller’s skill.
Since time immemorial, the place for the storyteller who reveals as well as tells has been an important element in the social glue that keeps societies, communities, families and individuals connected. In the pre-web 20th century documentaries emerged as one medium for storytellers to reach a 20th century world – beyond the family and community to whole societies.
A great inheritance from the late 20th century is the web, that lets storytellers, including documentary storytellers, break out of societies to touch other societies in a peer-to-peer language but with a professional’s skill.
With the retreat of government and broadcasters in Canada from documentary support, the doc community and DOC are speaking up in many ways. Find and enjoy documentaries on the web and in the theatre; you will be richer for it.