Must a Documentary Be Dreary?

Last night was a depressing double header of two documentaries – both very well made – that left me feeling terrible about how unfair the world is.

I looked at my queue of docs I’ve watched the past couple years and my huge list of docs I want to see, and the vast majority are about dreary, life-is-going-to-hell topics.

Am I just self selecting these kinds of docs and most docs are actually uplifting? Or is the world of docs more focused on ‘issues’ and ‘crises’ and ‘unjustice?’

Should it be? Would joyful celebratory docs get as wide an audience as the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it kind?

What are your thoughts?


  1. Paul, I am working on a Doc about elementary kids and junior high kids selling
    door to door for the school they attend. Starting in week two of the school year the kids are forced to sell stuff to raise money for their classroom so they can have a school year. When we ask different officials about the danger of small kids going door to door the answer they give is,”We need the money.”or it’s not about kids safety its about the money we need it, budget cuts and all,. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

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