Kartemquin: a trusted source on documentary ethics in the New York Times

Kartemquin's co-founder Gordon Quinn and board member Patricia Aufderheide were quoted in the New York Times yesterday relating to an issue of ethics in documentary film. The quotes concern a scene within the new film "Waiting for Superman" which misleads viewers as to the timeline of events.

Aufderheide, author of Honest Truths: Documentary Filmmakers on Ethical Challenges in their Work, and Quinn, one of 45 filmmakers to contribute to that study, both expressed concerns not with the altering of the chronology of events, but with the misleading of viewers' expectations it causes in this instance, leading them to possibly misinterpret the emotional truth of the scene. For Quinn, the scene represents a wasted opportunity: “It’s like you think you are looking at someone responding to the future, and in fact, the emotion has to do with their disappointment, and that’s a very different thing,” the Times quotes him as stating.

Read more on Kartemquin's ethics and on the debate sparked by Honest Truths.