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Storytelling: Amir Bar-Lev’s “The Tillman Story”

Storytelling: Amir Bar-Lev's "The Tillman Story"

The use of the word narrative to designate fictional films as opposed to documentary ones is problematic. Narrative will show up in footage taken by an unmanned surveillance camera or a satellite, not to mention when there are humans deciding what’s in the frame and for how long, and what ends up on the cutting-room floor. And the documentary films of Amir Bar-Lev are doubly occupied by narrative; as divergent as his subjects have been, his theme is always in some sense the stories that people create in order to civilize the wilderness of their own experience, the stories they impose on the lives of others, and—especially—the repercussions when those stories come into conflict with each other, as they inevitably do. Read Anna Thorngate’s review of The Tillman Story.

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