Saturday, 22 October, 10:00
Empathy is traditionally regarded as one of the foremost principles of documentary work. The majority of all documentaries rely on a basic understanding between the persons in front of and behind the camera, often characterised by a kind of solidarity of the filmmakers with their protagonists, whose (usually just) cause must be supported. As soon as a filmmaker dares break this rule (like Winfried Bonengel in “Beruf Neonazi”, Profession: Neonazi, for example), he meets with a chorus of outrage. This year we see a number of films in which empathy is not the primary means of approach, but which occasionally confront us with forms of human behaviour that may well be called questionable, immoral or even inhuman.
How do you work with protagonists whose opinions you do not share? What about mutual trust as another indispensable principle of documentary work in these cases? Where is the ethical boundary line?
Jörn Seidel, Grit Lemke