The Evaluation of a Documentary film

In the recent years, the use of media has become more rampant and acceptable by more people. After a long day, it is refreshing to enjoy the company of your friends as you watch your favorite movie. However, media content is not only used as a form of entertainment but also as a form of education.  The different kinds of the genre in media include; horror, animation, romance, drama or even a documentary.

This paper will expound more on a documentary, outline the benefits and purpose of this film and carefully evaluate the worth of a documentary film in the society. A documentary is a nonfictional film that aims to reveal the reality of life, documentaries have evolved over the years, but the purpose has remained to be the same, to show interesting facts or unusual aspects of life. The topics are also broad and only limited to one’s imagination.

Documentaries can be used to pass a disturbing message or reveal issues affecting the society; it can also be ironic, inspirational, shocking as well as funny. In previous years documentaries were 30minutes to 2 hours long, but with the increased use of the internet, shorter documentaries are being created. Knowledge is power, and the unique thing about a documentary is the fact that it educates, this film is based on real things and is used to create awareness. A documentary film can range from interesting sea animals to history and colonization; it can also be about influential people and their impact in the world. Documentaries are thus an excellent source of information.

Some of the best documentaries in 2017 include, “city of ghosts,”  “I call him Morgan,” “trophy,” and “rat film” just to mention a few. All these documentaries have a different message and theme. For a documentary to be filmed and assembled someone got inspiration just like in other films, however, in this kind of film, passion is vital. The person who births the idea guides the process of filming it; it can be shot in real life or a combination of pictures in motion and include a narrator, this mostly happens with people who have long passed on or events of the past.

A film has a director who shapes the documentary and guides the way forward; a director is given the task of coming up with the design, and creative aspects of the film, a director are also considered the author of the film. In most documentaries, there is a narrator; a narrator explains the events were happening in the film.

Analysis of “City of Ghosts.”

“City of ghost” is a film that covers the life of undercover journalists and the challenges they face in revealing the activities happening in Syria and how the ISIS has taken over the towns. Terrorism is one of the greatest menaces in the world and has caused concern, and this motivated the coverage of this story. The film has received eight awards and 21 nominations; this shows the impact of the film. This documentary is a success and a point of interest as it covers and exposes things that affect the world. It reveals the people behind the slaughters and many threats facing citizens.

The director and producer of the film Matthew Heineman, has taken the risk and even shot the scenes in risk apartments around Syria, and this has made this film among the best in 2017. One interesting thing about the film is the war in social media, being experienced between messaging applications and social media accounts. It is a sensitive matter, and Matthew has tried to handle it with the utmost respect and provide relevant information. The film has also made use of images, reporting in such a film is risky and actual scenes might be hard to shoot. Matthew has therefore made good use of pictures and passed the information about these activists and the challenges faced in Syria.

Professional reviews

Jeffrey. M. Anderson has critiqued the documentary and commended the producer for the vivid explanation of life under an evil regime, and the challenges faced. More critiques have expressed their appreciation with the film and how it candidly lays forth the essential matters affecting people. Ann Hornaday, from the Washington Post, has expressed the similarity of Matthew’s previous film, “Cartel Land” and the energy in the film, the thrill, and breathtaking scenes. Another critique by Manhola Dargis from the New York Times has commended the work by Matthew and how the film has bluntly exposed the oppression in Syria.


This film has been a success and considering the creativeness and the content it is worth 4.7 stars. Improvements can, however, be made for future events to ensure all ages are engaged and informed. The film aims at informing and exposing oppressive leaders, this motive though risky is achieved, and the documentary has gone into details and even presented how the terrorists communicate and the misinformed campaigns.

Work Cited

“City of Ghosts’ is a taut, immediate portrait of Syria’s citizen journalist heroes”. The Washington post. 13 July 2017. <>.

Jeremy Anderson. Movie review, “City of ghost.”<>.

Gwilym, Mumford. Interview with Matthew Heineman.The Guardian.21 July 2017

Nick Schager. “The best documentaries of 2017.” Online posting. 11, December 2017.<>.

Review: In ‘City of Ghosts,’ Fighting ISIS With Journalism. The New York Times. 6 July 2017.<>.




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