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It's a Documentary

February 25, 1990

I feel I have to respond to some of the Feb. 18 letters about the movie "Roger & Me."

Only a fool (or a member of the motion picture academy's documentary board) defines documentary as objective nonfiction.

From "Nanook of the North" to "The Thin Blue Line," documentary has inhabited a region between fiction and journalism. Documentary is a form designed for filmic essays, and it encourages partiality and bias. I don't know anybody who walked into "Roger & Me" expecting an impartial overview of the situation in Flint, Mich. I expected to see one man's view of that situation, and that is what I saw.

Letter writer Tony Thomas chastises Warner Bros. for having a profit motive in releasing this film. Warner deserves every penny it makes from "Roger & Me," and I can only hope it will be encouraged to back many more projects that will have an equally irritating effect on Thomas and his ilk.

JOSHUA OLSON

Hermosa Beach

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