Research File

For this unit I had to watch three documentaries and then discuss the issues surrounding them:

ESPN 30 for 30: The Two Escobars

Examples of Issues

Subjectivity, balance.

Throughout the entire film there was subjectivity as the makers got the people involved, Pablo’s family and gang members and Andres’ family and team mates for example, to tell the story of what happened from beginning until end. One of the interviewees suggested that had Pablo Escobar never been killed then the trouble in Colombia wouldn’t have escalated to the levels that it had.

There is a great balance throughout the documentary, especially when it talks about Pablo Escobar because while it acknowledges all of the murderous acts he and his cartel carried out, it also shown what good he did in helping out his fellow countrymen and being one of the contributing forces behind a Colombian national team which brought great happiness and pride to the country.

Issues that surround this program

Football being used by the Escobar cartel to launder money and the highs and the devastating lows which resulted from it.

Detail of Issues

In the 90s, Pablo Escobar used his great wealth to provide for the poorer people in Colombia, building football pitches within slums so that the youngsters had something to do. He also identified football as a great way to launder his large amounts of money made from dealing cocaine, buying National and pay rolling them on to win the Copa Libertadores. A player in this side, Andres Escobar (no relation) went on to be a symbol of Colombian football and captained the national team. A bulk of the documentary shows the national teams run to the ’94 World Cup, which provided the country with a welcome distraction from the blood shed and fighting and the hands of drugs, Pablo Escobar, rival gangs and the government. By the time the World Cup came around though, Pablo Escobar had been killed and trouble back home escalated, and the team did terribly, made worse by an own goal by Andres Escobar. When they returned home early, Andres was shot.

Does it remain impartial, objective or biased?

It remains objective letting those involved do the talking and taking into account the good Pablo Escobar did for his people, while also talking about the bad things.

Impact of issues

For anybody obsessed with football it is a pretty emotional story to see somebody who had brought so much joy to his country shot for one mistake in scoring an own goal. It was pretty alarming that there were no regulations in place to not allow Pablo Escobar to own a football team in the first place, but you could argue he did a lot more good than most Premier League owners.

What is the purpose of the documentary

I think it is just to educate people on what happened during that time. As somebody who wasn’t born/still in nappies when it went on I had never heard of what happened so it was interesting to find out the full story via this documentary. I think the good parts of the film (leading up to the ’94 and the 5-0 win over Argentina) are there to show how football affects us worldwide, despite what is going on outside the stadium, it’s an uniting sport.

Craigslist Joe

Examples of issues

Subjective as the entire film is about his experiences, as well as the opinions of the people he meets on how he’ll do and other social aspects.

It could be a misrepresentation of what would happen if anybody else taken the same journey, especially if they weren’t a privileged white male.

Issues that surround this program

It tackles the issue of homelessness as that is what Joe technically is during his experiment.

The film is based about humanity and whether we as a society are willing to help each other out and also tackles problems such as a traveling, friendships, especially forming new ones with strangers, race and our weird past times.

It also looks at the recession, where a site like Craigslist would come in handy for struggling families (if they had access to the internet that is).

Detail of issues

When Joe sets off on his journey he is technically homeless which is a problem for him when he gets to New York and San Francisco and can’t find anywhere to stay.

The journey is an experiment to see if humans as a society are willing to help others out, especially in hard times. Throughout he meets strangers who turn into friends as they spend time together whether it be while traveling or just letting him sleep on their couch. It also touches on the subject of race, especially when he stays with the Iraqi family who talk about their experiences of living in the US, especially post 9/11. It also shows that we as humans have different things which make us tick, regardless if others find them weird, which was the case when he met the dominatrix.

Does it remain impartial, objective or biased?

It remains objective as it makes you think about humanity as a whole, and whether it is mostly positive or negative.

Impact of issues

Makes you think about humanity. It also shows you how other people live which can be quite powerful.

What is the purpose of the documentary

To see if the US still has a good sense of community by living off things people give him on Craigslist. Insight into other people’s lives.

Woody Allen: A Documentary

Examples of Issues

Subjective comes from the opinions of Woody Allen’s career and work from the man himself, his famous fans and people he has worked with in the past.

The impartiality is an issue because it is showcasing his career so you won’t have somebody voicing their opinion on why they didn’t like Woody Allen.

Issues that surround this program

The art of film making, writing and acting, adultery in his personal life and fear of mortality/death.

Detail of issues

He and people close to him give an account of how he creates his films and what helped inspire them.

While he was with Mia Farrow, just bef0re the end of shooting Husbands and Wives it was revealed that Allen had been having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn.

Throughout his career he has found comedy material from his fear of his inevitable demise, despite his parents living until 100 and 96 respectively, it is still a subject he is anxious about today. It become part of his on screen persona whether his role was played by himself in his earlier films or by a surrogate, such as Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris.

Does it remain impartial, objective or biased?

I would say it is generally biased in favour of Woody Allen,because it is showcasing his brilliance ultimately. Even when talking about his lesser liked films it has him justifying why he made it, which is “for those who did [like it].”

Impact of issues

Makes me want to rewatch my favourite Woody Allen movies again and find ones which I haven’t seen yet.

Makes me happy/laugh.

The Soon-Yi situation makes me feel a bit uncomfortable though but at the same time nobody knows all of the details but those involved.

What is the purpose of the documentary

To inform the viewer on Woody Allen’s life and what inspires his comedy, along with his achievements and his legend.

It is also to bring some nostalgia to his old fans, as well as to introduce his older lesser known films to new fans too.

Also provides insight to what it is like to be an actor who is working on set with him.


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