If you make documentaries on "issues" you know it is surprisingly easy to end up with a work that covers no new ground, or is self serving, or only states the obvious or worst of all, is merely self-congratulatory.
And yet, films are a uniquely powerful means of communication. Particularly with subjects where viewers already hold strong opinions or attitudes (even if these are not necessarily well thought-out), movies can still rattle or jolt out a new perspective.Film draws us in with its immediacy and its intimacy. It puts faces to complex dilemmas and vibrates to the larger questions, the abstracts beneath and around the life on screen. It opens a door to a new way of seeing and understanding situations and ideas grown too familiar, creating a context to provoke and inform further.
So, a film is also about what happens when the lights come back up. Its meaning lies in the conversation begun, not just the narrative finished. A beautiful and well-made documentary film finds ways to encourage -- even insist on -- deeper engagement from those who see it, and to demand reflection and debate.