Moore and Berlinger

Michael Moore's 5th rule of documentary film making says: "The Left is boring [... ],  we've lost our sense of humor and we need to be less boring. We used to be funny. The Left was funny in the 60s, and then we got really too damn serious. I don't think it did us any good."

As you can see it's hardly a rule - more a statement - but that's ok.

Another renowned documentary film maker, Joe Berlinger, replies (in one phrasing): "Not every filmmaker can or wants to be funny, and not every subject lends itself to humor".

Who is right? If you've been here before you know my stand; that it is probably better to fight adversary to humor than making a non-humorus film - even on a very important topic.

But how can you treat a serious problem with un-seriousness? Well, it's up to every film maker, of course, but I think it's really the other way around: Taking a humorous, satrical look at ANYTHING only shows the utmost respect for the people (even victims) involved. And if you feel otherwise, if you get offended, if you feel that the humourus approach is despicable - who is the one having the real problems? You or the funny guy?

I mean, I don't get offended when someone makes a serious documentary (hey, I even produce them), but I do raise my eyebrow in disbelief if someone get's offended by a humorous (or even entertaining) approach in another documentary.

PS. "Rape in the military ("Invisible War"), for example, is not fertile ground for humor", says Berlinger. Hmm, I feel that treating this extremely serious matter with a satirical view on the macho culture in the military could be a fertile way to go... it will take some work and thinking, but nevertheless...

PPS. By the way, I'm not opposed to Berlinger in any (other) way. Wrote a rather favorable review of one of his films at


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