There are many classic examples of how the documentary filmmaker can use his or her “nose” for navigation within the realm of extant possibilities.
Perhaps this may be viewed as the realm of the artist or shaman, keeping eyes on events as they transpire, placing these events into context in real time, using a “sixth sense,” the product of experience.
Though the intangible sense of time and perspective is fluid and malleable, we prepare for the opportunity with research, so that the “Aha” or discovery moment experienced by the filmmakers may be immediately “sensed,” and transferred directly to the audience.
In documentary filmmaking, we write with a camera amid a field of impressions and choices.
Subjective storytelling, Robert Lundahl, John Boyd, Who Are My People? Promo
In the summer of 2010, filmmaker Robert Lundahl was asked to come to Blythe, California, to visit and film the giant geoglyphs, which are so expansive they are visible from space.
These Native American antiquities are endangered by “Fast-Tracked” energy projects to be built in the Mojave Desert.
Plants like Ivanpah, utility scale solar facilities, which had been touted as “Green” and Sustainable, were found to have a dark side.
For filmmaker, Lundahl, whose first feature length documentary, Unconquering the Last Frontier explores the causes of the Pacific Northwest Salmon Crisis, focusing on the damming of the Elwha River, Who Are My People? revisits old haunts.
One hundred years later, energy companies once again imperil Native American culture and communities, as society again looks to technology for a “quick fix.”
This time, it is a “fix” to global Climate Change. Companies promising solutions stand to profit in the billions, that is, until the tables are turned. The film follows a small group of Native American elders — who stand firm on sacred ground, in the hottest desert on the planet.
Like enjoyment of the cinema, suspension of disbelief is the key to the realm of what lies, yet unknown, waiting to be discovered.
We accept these practices easily, while inside the theatre with a tub of popcorn; and that allows “magic” to happen on the silver screen.