Tom RostonIndependent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup.

You can follow Tom on Twitter @DocSoupMan.

Doc Soup: Subject as Collaborator in “The Betrayal”

What if Robert Flaherty had given the Inuit named Allakariallak a credit as co-director of Nanook of the North? Or if Davis Guggenheim shared the bill with Al Gore on An Inconvenient Truth? Would those films be regarded in a different light? We know that the collaboration between documentary filmmakers and their subjects is what

Continue reading this entry »

Doc Soup: Oral History in “Life. Support. Music.”

Wow. Life. Support. Music. is quite a documentary. I think it’s hard not to be moved by this stirring story of a totally decent guy (and a great musician) who collapses onstage with a near-fatal brain hemorrhage. The man, Jason Crigler, and his family are sympathetic enough, and the narrative arc is intensely dramatic, but

Continue reading this entry »

Doc Soup: Keeping Violence Off-Screen in “Beyond Hatred”

Truth in absence. That’s what I was thinking about while watching Beyond Hatred, POV’s stirring doc about the murder of a gay man by skinheads in France, which airs this week (check your local listings). There’s a very deliberate way this sad story is told. The fact that it’s in French, with subtitles, enhances the

Continue reading this entry »

Doc Soup: Thinking About the Name Game and Documentaries

What’s in a name? I find myself approaching the new POV season the same way I used to love cracking the college course catalog, eating up the clever names teachers would give their courses, such as my comp-lit favorite, “Uncanny Tales.” What sounds good? Life. Support. Music., Hold me Tight, Let Me Go and Bronx

Continue reading this entry »

Doc Soup: Fundraising Woes

Oh, the woe of the documentary filmmaker. Nothing strikes a filmmaker to the core more than that singularly sad, stress-inducing word: funding. My POV minders recently directed me to filmmaker Patrick O’Brien, who has sought out a creative way to get financing. O’Brien has joined forces with Skinny Corp, a progressive, community-based company that backs

Continue reading this entry »

Doc Soup: Best Documentary Characters of All Time

As promised, it’s time for my “Best Documentary Characters of All Time” list. You may be wondering: How does one go about compiling a list of best characters from nonfiction films? These “characters” aren’t the products of imagination and craft, after all; they are real people. But, wait, don’t we have the expression, “He/she is

Continue reading this entry »