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From the Publisher
"Shooting the Truth highlights the rise of one of the recent louder voices in the marketplace--the political documentary."
"Author James McEnteer analyzes the politics of a range of documentaries of recent decades, providing chapters which evaluate four artists in depth and use their approaches and works as a foundation for revealing political documentary contents, approaches and growing popularity. While the analysis is particular to these artists as far as selected films used as examples, its implications hold many insights on the documentary film as a whole. College-level audiences of film studies in particular will want to read this."
California Bookwatch/Midwest Book Review
"Is the modern political documentary an alternative to the television industry's failure to sustain a commitment to the public interest? According to McEnteer the transition began with the firing of Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s over the controversies he raised in the pioneering television show See It NoW and is thriving with such producers as Big Noise and the Guerilla News Network. Along the way he closely tracks the work of Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, Errol Morris and Robert Greenwald, with forays into other documentary filmmakers whose conclusions run contrary to what the government and Big Media offer. He describes how deception works on both sides of the great issues, how political filmmakers influence public opinion and sometimes policy, and focuses for a chapter on the films on all sides of the 2004 presidential campaign."
Reference & Research Book News
"The rise of political documentaries in the US may be a reaction to the decline of the liberal television network news-gathering operations, which are hemorrhaging viewers to less professional cable news outlets such as the right-turning Fox channel. As television news has become partisan and trivialized, claims McEnteer, viewers hungry for news have turned to nonfiction films; he points out that eight of the ten top-grossing documentaries of all time were released since 2002. Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, which grossed $120 million, became the bellwether for anti-Bush, antiwar polemical documentaries. Defining nonfiction film as propaganda, the book concentrates on films that challenge official government narratives and offer competing alternative narratives of their own. McEnteer devotes chapters to such major talents as directors Errol Morris and Barbara Kopple, the more widely known ambush artist Michael Moore, and Robert Greenwald (best known for Outfoxed); Moore remains front and center. This book on the latest permutations of documentary films was as inevitable as it is welcome. Essential. All readers; all levels."