Karen Crew Explains Why Real-Life Documentaries Are More Important Now Than Ever

Karen Crew

January 12, 2021

Karen Crew

For years, people have been turning their heads away from paper new sources to screens. The year 2020 has been one for the history books, riddled with political conflict, natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic, and so much more. Karen Crew recently discussed why real-life documentaries are now serving more purpose than ever before.

“The major news sources on U.S. television are not reporting issues outside of national politics right now,” Karen Crew said. “But real-life documentaries can take us deeper into both local and global issues, allowing us to be more engaged and able to view this fractured world in which we live with open eyes. The honesty of documentaries allows us intellectually to escape the polarization of the U.S. media while truly empathizing with causes that deserve global attention. ”

Karen Crew explained that we now more than ever have an urgent need to see, hear, and understand the stories of people’s real-world experiences, outside of the construct of “social media.” These first-hand, unbiased experiences can help us better understand world issues without a political spin. Karen Crew mentioned Cries From Syria directed by Evgeny Afineevsky as an example of an excellent real-life documentary on a pressing world news issue. She explained that this film provides an overview of the conflict through the eyes of those who are now refugees

“There’s just something different about watching a documentary as opposed to watching or reading the news,” Karen Crew said. “Being able to meet the true characters living in these crises and other events truly illuminates the story, making it more understandable and relatable.”

Karen Crew explained that, unlike the news, documentaries aren’t just filled with tragedy. Sure, they can be tragic and fearful, but they’re also commonly filled with hope and inspiration. Karen Crew added that watching real-life documentaries serves as a useful reminder of what it means to fight for justice, freedom, and peace. These are ideals that are easy for many of us to forget, but people around the world are fighting for them every day. Documentaries connect us to our brothers and sisters around the globe, helping us realize that none of us are that different from one another.

“I think documentaries will play a big role in reuniting us as we move into 2021 and beyond,” Karen Crew said. “They are one of the few windows into other countries and cultures that many Americans see, and they can help us understand our many similarities, no matter race or religion.”
Karen Crew added that documentaries have already had a major impact on global poverty, opening the eyes of so many. She explained how people sitting in their luxurious homes watching TV suddenly have a chance to understand what life is like for those living in poverty in other parts of the world. Documentaries have already inspired so many to lend a hand, whether through volunteer work or donations.

She finished by stating that one of her favorite documentaries right now is a lighthearted yet meaningful one she watched with her 12-year-old daughter on Netflix, called the Octopus Teacher. The story, about a father rediscovering himself by learning about underwater life through an octopus, was filmed primarily underwater. Karen stated that “it’s relevant precisely because many of us find ourselves in self-reflection, feeling distant from the people and world we are accustomed to.”

“These incredible, factual stories are able to enlighten us and bring the world closer together,” Karen Crew finished. “To me, that makes them the most relevant form of media today.”