For the month of August, we’ve been running a series of interviews Bob has done with documentary filmmakers. We’ve been calling it “Bob’s Docs," and each we’ve week we’ve gone through some of the themes of documentary filmmaking — from the personal journey to the gift of extraordinary access.
Documentaries are supposed to represent the truth. But who decides what the truth is exactly? Patricia Aufderheide, professor and documentarian, who looked into some suspicious instances of manipulation in wildlife docs, explained her effort to interview documentary film-makers anonymously about their ethical lapses.
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170802_podextra.mp3 Episode One: Manipulation - On The Media
This episode also features an interview about the timeline manipulating HBO series, "The Jinx," directed by Andrew Jarecki. Bob spoke with documentary film-maker Joe Berlinger, co-creator of the "Paradise Lost" trilogy, about modern film-making, the responsibility of the artist, and different interpretations of "truth."
This episode features Bob's interview with the filmmaker Dan Reed about his 2003 documentary "Terror in Moscow", about the 2002 attack by Chechen terrorists on a Moscow Theater. Reed had access to remarkable footage filmed by the terrorists themselves and used it to present an extraordinary view of the crisis.
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm20170809_podextra.mp3 Bob's Docs Episode Two: Access - On The Media
Then, Bob revisits his interview with Matthew Heineman about his documentary "Cartel Land" in 2015. Heineman's relationship with his subjects allowed him to capture moments of violence, corruption, and even adultery -- all recorded with the subjects' full participation.
This episode features Bob's interview about the documentary "Weiner", about the disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner's attempt at redemption with an attempt at running for mayor of New York City.
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170816_podextra.mp3 Episode Three: Prurience - On The Media
Weiner had agreed to let a pair of documentary filmmakers record his campaign (and his entire life) in the hopes that they would capture his triumph. Instead, the cameras were rolling as he faced yet another slew of sexting allegations.
Elyse Steinberg is a writer and documentary film director. Josh Kriegman is a director and former political political consultant. Together, they produced and directed "Weiner" - wync
Since this interview, Weiner has pled guilty to a felony obscenity charge for sending pictures and messages to a 15-year-old girl. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September.
# It's Personal
This episode features two interviews, and the first is actually a guest spot from Brooke Gladstone. Last year, Brooke spoke with James Solomon about his documentary, "The Witness", about the story of Kitty Genovese -- a young woman who was famously murdered on a New York City street in 1964 - wnyc
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm170823_podextra128.mp3 Episode Four: It's Personal - On The Media
Her murder came to symbolize urban apathy and the "bystander effect". Solomon documents Kitty's brother Bill Genovese's lengthy pursuit to discover the truth behind her life and murder - wync
Then, Bob speaks with filmmaker Ken Dornstein about his three-part series on PBS's Frontline called "My Brother's Bomber" about his investigation into the 1988 Lockerbie airplane bombing. Dornstein's brother died in the attack, and Dornstein spent years trying to locate other figures who were suspects.
# Conflicting narratives
We have one more bonus episode of “Bob’s Docs," and this one is about what happens when documentaries dig into conflicting narratives.
In 1977, a former beauty queen with a 168 IQ named Joyce McKinney became British tabloid fodder when she supposedly kidnapped her Mormon boyfriend at gunpoint and, for four days, kept him as her sex slave.
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/otm/otm083017_cms792550_pod.mp3 Finale: Conflicting Narratives - On The Media
Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris' 2011 documentary Tabloid looked into the claims and the tabloid coverage. Brooke spoke with Morris six years ago about what he learned about sensational reporting and the trouble of getting to the bottom of a he-said, she-said - wnyc.org