Documentary realism and fundamentalist religion in Ireland: a case study of power in the blood together with The Rocky Road to Dublin and The Road to God Knows Where
Brereton, Pat (2009) Documentary realism and fundamentalist religion in Ireland: a case study of power in the blood together with The Rocky Road to Dublin and The Road to God Knows Where. REA: Religion, Education and the Arts, 2009 (6).
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Introduction: According to many critics documentary helps to interpret history and promote human understanding while dramatising and bending reality. In general it does not draw conclusions, but rather consists of statements and assertions so that conclusions can be drawn. All the ‘creative’ documentaries discussed in this paper attempt to address the power and influence of religion in Ireland and to encourage audiences to reflect on such issues using a range of conventional strategies from direct address to cinema verite techniques, drawing upon the powerful influence of Robert Flaherty's poetic exposé of Man of Aran from the 1930s, together with more recent documentary techniques using more dialogical and reflexive formats. Peter Lennon, John T. Davis and Alan Gilsenan's documentaries under discussion in this paper present a relatively raw yet somber aesthetic, combining many of these techniques in their varying attempts to understand and appreciate the historical power and legacy of religion for contemporary Ireland.
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