A struggling family commits fraud.
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A struggling family commits fraud.

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19 June 2016 (USA)  »

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This is fabricated fiction, not really a documentary
6 November 2016 | by (Colorado) – See all my reviews

I feel like I was mislead to see this film. It is promoted as being a new style of documentary film, but in reality, it is a fictional story made by editing and distorting a family's home movies.

There's nothing clever about lying and misleading the audience and making it sound like you are presenting a true story documentary film only to find out that after you've watched the film you were lied to. If the director wasn't there to tell you about some of the fictional elements you might think you watched a true story.

I heard the director speak at a film festival and the first thing he said is "I just want to say that the family did not commit any crimes and we just made it look like they did".

Basically, the director took a bunch of scenes from home movies. Put them out of order and distorted things out of context, put fake time stamps on the scenes to make it appear chronological. The time stamps have nothing to do with actual dates of when the film clips were made. The fake time stamps are merely there to help fake the fabricated fictional story that did not occur.

There were also fabricated fictional elements, and fictional scenes created to help tell the fictional story. For example there is fake news story shown in the film. Also video clips were added that had nothing to do with the family. For example the director leads you to believe you are seeing the family's house burning down. The family lives in the United States. The house on fire is a film clip the director found of a Russian house on fire and the house has nothing to do with the family.

The real fraud is that this movies is not a documentary film even though it described as being a documentary film.

Most people find it boring to watch home movies of people you don't know. Perhaps to convince people to watch this movie, the director had to make up some fake fraud story and mislead people to believe it is a documentary film.

This tactic isn't anything new or revolutionary. PT Barnum used to do that in circus side shows. Blair Witch project also created hype about a fiction found footage documentary. Reality Television shows do the same thing and distort things to create drama in shows that they claim are reality shows.

We don't need false reality "documentaries". Film makers who mislead their audiences trying to get them to watch films that are not what they promoted are not respecting the time or interests of the audience.

It would be like telling people they are going to see a romance movie and then giving them a gory slasher movie. People expect to see what they are lead to believe they are going to see and false advertising is not a good way to attract an audience. I wish I hadn't wasted my time watching this film. I was at a film festival and I missed seeing a good film because this film claimed to be a new form of documentary film making. It is not a documentary. It is fiction.

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