Mavaza: Documentaries Have An Effect On People | VIDEO, DEBATE
22 April 2023
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By Dr Masimba Mavaza | OPINION | Documentaries have the power to educate destroy or to build.

The one who makes a documentary is largely persuaded by a zeal to bring out an end game of his desire. Most documentaries have a desired effect of the producer not in any way helping the affected nations.

Documentaries are are supposed to be an in-depth and informative resource which are a perfect platform to create dialogue. They should serve as powerful tools that bring important topics to the table in a captivating way that also sparks conversation, and sometimes even social movements.

It travesty of reason to have documentary which
Is one sided hell bent to cause dissent in a nation and bringing out the desired effects of the producer regardless of what will happen to some individuals. That reduces nations and its people to be collateral damage.

In today’s “post-truth” world, educating ourselves about important issues and finding varied and reliable information sources is as critical as ever. Recent events across the globe coupled with how we obtain, share, and replicate news of these events demands we step up and seek out quality sources of information about our world and what is happening in it. We expect big stations to get properly qualified researchers and not pocket journalists.

Character-driven, feature-length documentaries focused on the stories of real people put a human face on global issues that might otherwise seem distant or unrelatable. Hearing and seeing these real experiences through the dedicated work of documentary filmmakers helps us put ourselves in the shoes of others, building bridges of empathy in a world that desperately needs our engagement and compassion. Not only do documentaries provide an opportunity to understand and connect with the world, they are also a great way to gather together with friends to watch and engage around the important issues of our times. Watching more documentaries is important, but talking about them together in person is equally important. The Aljazeera documentary infamously called Gold Mafia missed out on face-to-face conversations, yet these conversations are needed. They remind us of the real people on the opposite side of an issue, the complexity and nuances of the different conditions in which we live, and the importance of honest and earnest discussions. Always another side has to be heard in every documentary.

Some documentaries by untainted journalists do shout out for the down trodden. Twelve documentaries from the campaigning journalist John Pilger, exposing the West’s continued exploitation of the Third World, and criticising the military interventions of western governments, from Cambodia to Iraq. The documentaries included are: ‘Year Zero – The Silent Death of Cambodia’; ‘Nicaragua – A Nation’s Right to Survive’; ‘Burp! Pepsi vs Coke in the Ice Cold War’; ‘Flying the Flag – Arming the World’; ‘Vietnam – The Quiet Mutiny’; Death of a Nation – The Timor Conspiracy’; ‘Inside Burma – Land of Fear’; ‘Welcome to Australia’; ‘Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq’; ‘Palestine is Still the Issue’; ‘Breaking the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror’; and ‘Stealing a Nation’. Also included is interview footage with Pilger from the 2006 Guardian Hay Literary Festival.

These documentaries stood out in helping Africa and Africans and a number of third world countries. Documentaries must provide a chance to learn about, engage with, and take action on issues with others, that also allows you to pool your resources, knowledge, and energy toward making the world a better place. They are not meant to victimise weaker nations and sensationalise the masses into self hate or captivating them into disliking their own country. This type of documentary is devilish satanic and demonic. The documentary must Connect to the global community through documentaries, and remember that now is the time to engage in making a difference in our collective future not the time change governments without any reason but lies.
Documentaries must inspire, inform and engage. It must carry stories which provoke empathy, change minds, influence behaviour, bring communities together and catalyse behavioural and systemic change. Documentaries must be used as a tool for broad reaching social change.
This was never the aim of the Aljazeera when the flighted their documentary on Gold Mafia.

Documentaries must record, reveal, or preserve. it must persuade or promote and analyse or interrogate. It should allow both parties to express.
Documentary filmmaking is a non-fiction style of filmmaking that seeks to document some aspect of reality. This can be done for education, preservation, and entertainment purposes. Documentaries are non-fiction movies that strive towards the betterment the world. Its purpose is to make you aware and actively participate in a society that can make shape the future of this world. A documentary is a short or a long video whose main objective is to give the viewer a realistic as well as an accurate picture of aspects of life or highlight works of technical nature. It must not carry the belief of the producer or lean on the side of bias.

Documentaries also expose evil doing in society. When makers of the documentary join hands to highlight the plight of people in the community within no time, the information is viewed by the greater audience. It may cause a mixed reaction or even uproar on the social media platform in this day and age.

The concerned authorities or even governments can then swiftly move in conduct investigations and have the situation arrested. Some form of evil in the community can only be highlighted and brought to the limelight better using documentaries than in another way. Documentaries have helped to bring a myriad of nuisances into the light and in turn, appropriate actions being taken.

But the documentary published by Aljazeera on Zimbabwean Gold Mafia was sensational inciting and meant to bolster one party against the other in the coming elections. Aljazeera was supposed to have an expository documentary.

Expository documentaries are the closest to what people think is a documentary film. These have a sharp contrast to fictional storytelling. Their main objective is to inform or persuade people. They can achieve this by the fact that they are omnipresent. They have their narration over the footage, which is without ambiguous or poetic rhetoric. They do not defame people. It must be noted that we do have real living people mentioned in a documentary and if a documentary is everything else but the truth then things do fall apart. More and more often these days, it seems, cases are tried in the court of public opinion through the media and now, through social media. As a result, you have people joining a cause just because of what they see and hear about a case from these secondary sources. It can create a dangerous whirlwind of inadequately informed people arguing for “justice.”
The question is, how do any of us know what’s right? We ca just begin to see how confusing and difficult cases can be to understand when you weren’t there to experience the investigation or trial first-hand. A court’s decision can be influenced by so many factors, and the judgments are not always based only on the ideals of innocence and guilt. The cases discussed in most crime documentaries are intricate and puzzling; that’s why they make such great entertainment.
Law is not an easy thing—it’s not easy to understand, or practice, or even write about. I think that many people’s appreciation for the gravity of how determinations of guilt and innocence are arrived at may be devolving because of the proliferation and accessibility of crime documentaries. I fear that such shows will strengthen viewers’ tendencies to rush to unsupported conclusions and judgments and that society’s trust and faith in the legal system and law enforcement will continue to disintegrate. At this point, is that really what society needs?
Zimbabweans have been confused by the Aljazeera documentary. Many have taken Aljazeera confusion as fact and some are taking the unsubstantiated document as a fact. There are people who have one wish regardless. That wish is to find the first family guilty and use that to execute a regime change.
We need to understand Aljazeera before we take them serious. When Al Jazeera launched from the Qatari capital, Doha, on Friday, November 1, 1996, it was the first independent news channel in the Arab world. Media in the Arab world, till then, was characterised by state-controlled narratives that denied audiences the right to know and the right to be heard.
As a result of Al Jazeera’s programs, individuals in the Middle East have learned more about Western democracy and politics than from other previous sources. The Al Jazeera effect follows a similar pattern to the CNN effect and includes the accelerant effect, impediment effect, and agenda-setting effect. Aljazeera now plays a different tune from its sponsor in the name of editorial independence even though it looks like editorial abuse. We must not forget that Al Jazeera was founded in 1996 as part of Qatari efforts to turn economic power into political influence in the Arab world and beyond, and continues to receive political and financial backing from the government of Qatar. As a result, Al Jazeera has been criticized for being Qatari state media. Al Jazeera Media Network, endowed by the Government of Qatar, is one of the world’s largest news organizations. It provides extensive news coverage through 80 bureaus on a variety of media platforms in several languages, including Arabic and English. Al Jazeera has a large audience, but the organization (particularly its original Arabic channel) has been criticized for its alleged involvement in controversies ranging from regime change agendas, slanted journalism to anti-Hindu. The patent holding is a “private foundation for public benefit” under Qatari law.Under this organizational structure, the parent receives funding from the government of Qatar but maintains its editorial independence.In June 2017, the Saudi, Emirati, Bahraini, and Egyptian governments insisted on the closure of the entire conglomerate as one of thirteen demands made to the Government of Qatar during the Qatar diplomatic crisis.The channel has been criticised by some organisations as well as nations such as Saudi Arabia for being “Qatari propaganda and pens for hire.
It is therefore not surprising that Aljazeera produces a documentary which is half baked. It is just to deal with Dubai and please those who hate Zimbabwe.

In whatever form the enemy comes to us Zimbabwe will never be a colony again and will never be confused by a confused documentary.

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