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Documentary film as an alternative storytelling form in a pandemic

Mabel Evwierhoma
Adakole J. Oklobia
Helen Doom Thomas


This article is hinged on the fact that it usually takes a little more time to produce a documentary film, depending on the storyline. One can come up with a good production at the end of the day. Looking at the corona virus pandemic era, the movement of large cast and crew could be inimical to the health  of those involved. However, a small cast and crew, as it applies, could equally come up with a good story and message for the viewers. Using the  qualitative methods of direct observation and content analysis of three selected documentary films, the researchers situated the essay on the Auteur film  theory. The selected films are Ge Yunfei’s The Lockdown: One Month in Wuhan (2020); Jack O’Donoghue’s Virus (2020); and Femi Odugbemi and  Kadaria Ahmed’s Unmasked (2021). The researchers found that documentary film producers needed to wield a lot of influence in their productions in  order to have full control over the production. Among others, they found that the documentarist must also try as much as possible to reduce the number  of the film cast, if necessary, and crew, especially during a pandemic era. The researchers recommended that a documentarist should be very mindful of  the protocol for the management of any disease or pandemic and be very cautious in choosing a subject because of the locations that the dictates of the  script might take them.

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eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562