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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Sam Stahnke at 12:36AM
Kaley Belval

Blog posting written by Sam Stahnke Cinema Production, '17, FLEFF Intern, Brooksville, Maine



Why does Kaley have a problem with Michael Moore as a documentarian?


The answer involves her own experiences.


Kaley Belval speaks easily and articulately. This is her fourth year at Ithaca College and FLEFF.


As a Documentary Studies major she rode with the South Texas Border Volunteers.  The Volunteers are a private group who aim to catch immigrants from Mexico.


The conversations en-route were riddled with opinions on immigration that Kaley disagreed with.  For instance, Dr. Mike Vickers - who led the patrol - argued against any immigration from Mexico and pushed for deportation.


When asked if she agreed with Vickers on anything Kaley thinks.


“He did say he liked Mexican food.” 


But she explains that Vickers provided contrast.  A point of comparison to the immigrants featured. 


“Documentaries can provide a forum for people to use their own voices.”


Even if she disagreed with Vickers his voice still became part of the documentary.


She dislikes Michael Moore’s approach due to the incorporation of other people’s voices to reinforce his own.  Moore’s self-projection moves attention away from the subject.


Kaley did admire the documentary Who is Dayani Cristal? which played at FLEFF 2014.  The story concerned a single deceased immigrant of unknown origin. 


The Documentary bears some resemblance to Kaley’s own work.  In her recent journalistic job for the Washington Post Kaley looked to “focus on individual stories.”  


What documentaries do you strongly disagree with and why?

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