Does US Provincialism Affect Documentary Filmmaking Among Other Things?
It's worth reading Anthony Kaufman's article on the Sundance Now Blog. I have to agree with him that in the US, we overlook the cutting edge work of documentary filmmakers outside of the US. I would even argue that foreign filmmakers make better documentary films, avoiding what I call "cookie-cutter" filmmaking - the kind of filmmaking that South Park could easily parody as the style and approach, despite the content, is pretty much a template used ad nauseam. Other countries seem to be more open minded to a unique artistic approach, leaving the audience unsettled with more questions rather than providing simplified black and white resolution to what is usually a very grey topic. Perhaps our documentary culture is reflective of our general culture? We seem to think there is some set model to success and so we copycat rather than innovate. It is arguable that our lack of encouraging innovation is reflected in many spheres, such as politics, business, education, and filmmaking, and it may be what keeps our country stuck in finding solutions to many of our problems.