Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
9

'Waiting for Superman' Not Just Full of Lies, It Also Has a Fake Scene

Not only are the facts and premise of the documentary Waiting for Superman not at all right, but now we learn that at least one scene was staged for the film. This touching scene from the documentary (the overall storyline of which is: poor people desperately yearning to get into charter and private schools), in which a mother first tours the Harlem Success Academy and oohs and ahs, was actually staged after her child was rejected. Here's the director, Davis Guggenheim, telling the Times about that: "So that scene is real; her reaction, her talking to kids touring the school, is how she would play it." So that… scene… is real… it's how she would play it. That's remarkable!

9 Comments / Post A Comment

HiredGoons (#603)

In their defense, the real world is pretty fake these days.

Get each of these children a marble statue of themselves as Superman and they'll be just fine.

Moff (#28)

"The litmus test for me is saying, is the person we are following, is that scene genuine and real?"

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I don't think that's how litmus tests work.

HiredGoons (#603)

Up until now I wasn't aware something could be both acidic and base.

La Cieca (#1,110)

Surely you cannot blame Mr. Guggenheim for subscribing to Picasso's definition of art?

Reddy Tuxpin (#4,811)

This reaction is a little naive. You can't think filmmakers run tape on their subjects 24/7. The cost, both in time and money, would be prohibitive.

Polly Peachum (#8,145)

As someone in the NYT article or the comments said, it would have been more honest and still compelling to have the mother commenting on what her son was missing.

Just because manipulation is common doesn't mean it's acceptable. The making of a documentary imposes specific restraints. If that's "naive," I'll happily plead guilty.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Baloney. You know what the problem is with the sudden wave of “documentaries” coming out nowadays thanks to DV video and home editing? This crap.

Suddenly folks who have ideas and minor talents decide they are “film makers”, decide a documentary is the best way to go (since you don’t need things like a script or actors) and then they do things like this.

Granted David Guggenheim is above the fray to an extent, but I can’t help but think the urge to co-opt perspective comes from a lazy and arrogant film-maker who is rushing to simply produce something so their name can be placed in some film festival program.

This all also falls squarely in “white man’s burden” territory.

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