Documentary craft

Never forget to lie, 
directed by Marian Marzynski

Marzynski is in great form.  It is a pleasure to see him conducing Q&A after the screening of his latest at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews n Warsaw.  At 76 Marz is energetic, sharp and focused.  His way of handling unfocused questions is kind yet decisive.  A total command of the audience.   Quite inspirational.  

A few things jump out when he discusses making documentary films.  His method of opening  people up is to explain to them the limitations of his interest in what they are about to disclose on camera.  When recalling an event they are asked to focus on the very moment of that event and not to bring into their relation any extra knowledge of the people or things that belong to the event. Otherwise “a chase of thoughts” ruins the power of a testimonial.   

Paraphrasing, it is asking them to be as they were when the event was happening.  To forget judgment, comments, information or any knowledge acquired afterwards.  Just to feel.  Feel the past as it is now.  

He also stresses the importance of casting in making a documentary.  Casting meaning selecting the right people who would successfully help to carry the story forward.  An important element in "casting" is of course the ability to establish rapport.  In “Never forget to lie” Marz does it by presenting himself to his “actors” not as a director but a fellow Holocaust survivor.   

When asked about the interplay of narration and images he emphasizes that the images always come first.  A narration only provides that which is not possible to communicate through the images. 

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