In a world of everything is potentially ‘fake news’ where can we find meaning?
We depend on our own finely-tuned radar of ‘emotional resonance’.
What feels true?
‘Truth is stranger than fiction” because it can’t be contrived. But how do we tell the difference?
Much of the power of non-fiction storytelling lies in its claim to ‘authenticity’. And with authenticity comes the potential for ‘emotional truth’ and ‘meaning’, what stories are supposed to deliver.
Documentary’s promise of ‘authenticity’ rests in its unique ability to express the spontaneous. That moment of revelation might be an action. It might be spoken. It might be in silence. But it’s always unexpected.
In the midst of Russia’s material collapse in the 1990s, ‘A St. Petersburg Symphony’ explores the power of music in a time of crisis.
After 2 weeks of filming inside The Russian National Library, the brilliant Ukrainian conductor, Vasily Zvarychuk, invited us back to his home.
This excerpt, from the first film I made in Russia, shows the film’s emotional turning-point, an unplanned moment caught by DoP David Katznelson.
This chance moment reveals Vasily quite unexpectedly, in all his vulnerability, beauty and love.
It shows not only how we use story to find meaning, but more specifically how story works as a means to discover who we are.
In the words of Matt Hague’s alien explorer from his book ‘The Humans’-
“It takes time to understand humans because they don’t understand themselves. They have been wearing clothes for so long. Metaphorical clothes. That is what I am talking about. That was the price of human civilisation – to create it they had to close the door on their true selves. And so they are lost, that is how I understand it. And that is why they invented art: books, music, films, plays, painting, sculpture. They invented them as bridges back to themselves, back to who they are.”
Films To Believe In