Capturing Reality (2008) - full transcript

From cinema-verite pioneers Albert Maysles and Joan Churchill, to maverick movie makers like Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, and Nick Broomfield, the world's best documentarians reflect upon the unique power of their genre. Capturing Reality explores the complex creative process that goes into making non-fiction films. Deftly charting the documentarian's journey, it poses the question: can film capture reality?

- Thank you.

- Okay.

- On est prĂȘt?

- D'accord.
- Merci.

- I loved to go to the movies,
but it never occurred to me

that I could ever make movies.

In fact,
I went to undergraduate school

in engineering,
which I hated from day one.

- I mean,
it just sort of happened.

- Before making films,
I worked

as a professional chef
for about 10 years.

- Even when I was 14,

I knew I would make films.

I started to develop stories
and screenplays

and was always chased
out of offices of producers.

- As a 16-year-old,
it seemed to me

that it would be a waste of time
to be a writer;

the majority of the population

wouldn't be able
to read what I wrote.

And I loved going to films
even then.

I thought films
was really my medium.

- So I became an editor
at first,

because it was that darkness
I liked.

- Starting out life
as a psychologist,

in science you learn
to be open-minded.

Very important
to making a documentary.

- My first job
on a documentary shoot

was, you know:
Here's the Nagra,

you're recording sound.
And I was, like, oh my God!

- Working
with that amazing dance

with people in the frame...

- You'd go to lunch
and talk about it.

There was just this great
kind of immersion

in the adventure of it,

which I found
incredibly appealing.

- It was... astounding,

and I just fell in love.

- And then I went
to film school,

then I dropped out
of film school,

but that's another story.

- Documentary filmmaking

and what we call
film d'auteur -

cinema d'auteur,
author's film -


is the absolutely...

the freest way of cinema.

You have
such an enormous spectrum

of possibilities of expression.

- But I'm sorry,
I speak English,

but not very well. Huh?

- In the middle of the night,

with a tiny camera
in my right hand,

with a tiny candle
in my left hand,

lighting the person's face,

and that was, you know,
becomes cinema.

It goes on screens
around the world.

You cannot have less,
you know?

- Documentary filmmaking

is about being inspired
by the moment.

It's about the joy
of letting something affect you,

and respond.

Whether it's with your camera,

or yourself as a person
if you're the interviewer.

It's about relating in a space,
like dancing.

- Real life
is so much more interesting

and so much more bizarre
than anything you can make up.

And, you know, the imagination
is always limited,

but somehow reality
is infinitely bizarre

and weird and compelling.

It's the thing
that fiction films,

no matter how good they are,
just can't offer.

- It's a very...
sort of super-real thing

that you're doing.
It's highly charged.

It forces people
to examine themselves.

It's very intense.

- I think of it, as a filmmaker,

as a way to understand conflicts

and... and human contradictions

and power.

You have people who
are confronted with decisions

and what are they gonna do.

- The part that I like
about documentary

is that it can be anything.

The part I don't like about it,

is that you are constantly
being told

that documentary
has to be one thing

rather than a whole multiple
of possible things.

Gus Rose walked in.

- He had a confession
he wanted me to sign.

He, uh... said
that Iwould sign it.

He didn't give a damn
what I said.

- We all know
that you can create things

that are about the world.

They're not meant
as purely fiction.

They're meant as stories
about real events,

real people.

We piece together reality,
each one of us,

from bits and pieces of stuff.

Reality isn't handed to us

- It has the power to plant
questions in people's minds.

It has the power to make you
empathize with things

which you never really knew

you could empathize with.

- Rather than telling people
what to think,

or, you know,
they're learning a lesson,

we're taking them through
an emotional experience

which opens a little window
into something.

- It's an emotional medium.

It's not a medium of intellect

and intellectual discourse.

It's about engagement...

and emotion.

- The form itself

is no longer a kind of linear...

information-based form.

It's something which can take

from other art forms,

from the great river of cinema.

I see them all like
a painter would see them,

as kind of colours on a palette,

as you're making a painting.

And the painting is,
in our world now,

a documentary film.

- There's so many ideas
for documentaries out there.

You know, you'll go to a party
or be talking to a friend:

"Oh, you know,
it'd make a great film."

There's just ideas just floating
out there in the ether,

but the ones that stick
are, again,

these ones where you have
a lot of curiosity.

I think, for me,
that's the biggest thing:

is there enough
personal curiosity

about that subject,

about what happens
in that story,

to propel the very long,
enervating process

that is making a film?

- The eureka moment for me,
when I'm thinking about a film,

is when I really feel

there's something
I want to say and it...

I don't know, I feel arrogant.

It sounds, to me,
arrogant to say that.

Like, why would, you know,
I have anything to say

that people
haven't already thought of?

But, in fact,

that is the little egotism
of the artist.

- I feel very intrigued...

by the enigma of human beings,
you know.

How somebody really nice,
very sympathetic,

can just sit there and say:

"Yeah, my job is flying bombs
into the Congo," you know?

The origin of the idea
was that moment 10 years ago

when I met
some of these Russian pilots.

And I knew I had something

in my hands
that was very explosive.

It was very clear.

And I knew I had found
the right location

and the right environment

to make a point
on the state of our time,

economically and socially.

One strange product,
which is that fish,

tells us the whole story
of our times, in a way,

you know?

- I mean, I always tell people,

"If you can walk away,
walk away."

It's only when you can't walk
away from a subject

that you should make it,

because it's too hard
to make documentaries,

it requires
enormous commitment, time.

You will never
be rewarded financially enough.

So the need to make it
is actually, I think,

the first essential point.

- I stumble across things

that immediately
fascinate me deeply,

and then I know
there is no choice.

All the projects I have done
were uninvited guests.

Like having...
inviting two guests for dinner

and you open the door
a little bit

and all of a sudden
you have the entire apartment,

the house
full of uninvited guests.

- I'm giving this talk
in Chicago

and this man mentions
Henry Darger

and that he knows
Darger's last landlady,

and then the next thing I know,
I'm standing in Darger's room.

The room that really
was the place

where he spent
the last 40 years.

And I wasn't thinking
I wanted to make a film.

I just wanted
to see more of the work,

but when I stood in that room,
I had one of those moments

where my heart
was just beating really fast

and I was just thinking

the presence of this person
was so strong.

And this room was so beautiful.

Like, everything in there
was sort of old and dusty,

but everything was something
he had collected there,

and there was just this sense
of the person in the place

that I felt that you could
make a film out of this.

And I wanted to know more.

And that was the beginning
of the ball rolling,

the curiosity building
and the sense that I needed

to try to follow this
and see where it went.

- There's a lot of serendipity
in this world.

I mean, certain projects,
you kind of... you stalk,

and you try to make them.

Others come
and land in your lap.

- I was driving my car

and I hear the news,

the shooting in Oka.

And when I arrived there,

there was a barricade
of police officers

and you couldn't go
into the village.

I just was amazed,

and I guess I felt it's my duty,

it has to be documented
by one of us.

I wanted to transmit
what I felt and saw there,

and what the story was

and what it was like...

... so that whoever's
looking at it

can understand
what that story is,

'cause it was so complicated.

It'll last two or three days,

or another weekend.

But it lasted 78 days.

- Sometimes you just end up
in these incredible situations

which you probably,
in the light of day,

would choose
maybe not to get into,

but by that time,

you're so intrigued
that you continue on.

- I trotted off quite innocently
to Cornwall,

innocently inasmuch
as I was looking round

in the area of hunting,

but not to actually do a hunt.

I wanted to get into something
quite remote,

but I wasn't quite sure what.

This old man
who worked for the hunt

went out and about in his van
picking up animals,

and the first place we went to,
he just shot it.

- This is a Jersey cross,
so there's no future in him...

- A, that shocked me,
but B,

then to discover the animal
was completely healthy,

and this was just
about market values,

that got me going.

Then you're on it.
Then you know

there is something happening
that you need to follow,

and it starts
to dictate your journey.

- So we only get rid
of that sort, you know...

- What's the dramatic premise?
Who is it about?

- What's the underlying story?

- There's something that's
really important

that's on the line.

- You have to have
some kind of framework,

what you're planning to do.

- You have to keep adjusting
to what is going on.

- And I was totally unprepared.
I had no shooting permit,

I had no crew,
I had nothing...

- Okay, get the camera out,
quick! You know, shoot...

- A lot of it is just luck.

- For me,
it's more about the ideas

and the structure
at an early stage,

because I always feel
if I have a shape, or a story,

or a movement through a film,

then other things will follow.

- About a year ago,

I found out that I might have

100 or even 200
half-brothers and sisters.

I don't know who they are.

Nor do I know the man

from whose body
we were all made.

- I was looking
for a dramatic setup,

a dramatic question
which would drive the quest.

The basic dramatic question is:
Will this guy find his bio-dad?

The underlying question is:

What is the meaning of family?

And I knew
I had a couple of leads

on who the sperm donor
might be.

So I knew I had that.
Eight possible sperm donors,

all negative.

So I knew that those leads
would take me somewhere.

So I figured
I had enough of a quest,

with some ups and downs,

and that's what
I structured beforehand.

And I was nervous,
'cause, I mean,

what if nothing happened?

Can you get the name
of the donor or identify--

- No, no, you can't.
- You can't?

- No. No, we do have it,
but we're not allowed to,

because it's confidential
and the donors only donate

under that basis,
that it'll remain confidential.

- All right,
well, thank you very much

for the information.
- Okay, then.

- In the Realms of the Unreal
was the most pre-scripted film

that I'd worked on
up to that point.

The paintings were one component
of a world

that Henry Darger was creating.

He had written, you know,
the 15,000-page novel,

he was writing, you know,

these battle songs
to be played in his head.

And he was really creating
as three-dimensional a world

as he could to, you know,

sort of populate
this sort of ultimate story.

The structure was the thing
that I worked hardest on.

How to tell
the parallel stories.

The stories
of Henry Darger's real life,

what happened factually,
in that time.

What was happening
in the world around him?

And then what was the story
that he was telling

in his fiction,

in the book
In the Realms of the Unreal?

So to find a way
to weave those things together

was a real challenge.

- I always think making a film

is a bit like
kind of building blocks.

You start off
with one thing and then you...

that gives you a certain amount
of information,

you move on to the next thing
and then...

So a film becomes
more and more...

you get
more and more information

as you make a film,

and you have
more and more questions.

And your questions
become more and more focused.

- Before you start a film,
you don't just go

and, like,
cast a net everywhere.

I mean, you have to say:
This is what I'm interested in.

My Country, My Country
looks at an Iraqi family

and what happens to them
during the occupation,

but it's really, I think,
a film about America

and what America is doing
in Iraq right now.

You're sort of on this journey,

but you don't know
necessarily where it's going.

There is a sort
of delicate balance

of having a plan,

and then also surrendering
to what you encounter.

And the next challenge
is identifying the people

who you'll follow,

who will take you
through this conflict.

- In a way, you're casting,
you know,

when you go out
and you meet people,

you're assessing
the level of interest

you think that they will have
for the audience.

How engaging are they?
How articulate are they?

What are their particular
interests and quirks?

You know,
what is it about them

that makes them fascinating
to you?

- When I think of Kathleen...

... what I remember,


is her dying in my arms.

That's always
the overwhelming...


- And yet, within,
hell, 30 minutes

of that sonofabitch
coming in here,

it was... it was a crime scene

and I was guilty
and that was it!

- Now I'm not ready
and I have no make-up on!

But things are getting better!

Did you find my sign,
"in bathtub"?

- There we are
outside of the house with Edie,

and this decaying old mansion

with her mother inside.

- Hang on.

- Take your time.

It's important
that you choose someone

that you can connect with,

and hopefully things will happen

that were not predicted

before you got into it,

but things
would take a turn for...

toward a story.

- Very depressing, you know,
when winter sets in here.

Because I don't like
the country

and I don't want to be here.

Any little rat's nest
in New York,

any little mouse hole,
any little rat hole,

even on 10th Avenue,
I would like better.

- I primarily
make character films.

I hide my issues
in character and stories.

But I've gotta find
the characters,

I've got to cast it,
to know who to hang it on.

- Doomsday, they tell me.
They tell me doomsday...

We're all gonna die!

- The reason
they wanted to be filmed

is that their station
was literally

being allowed
to be run into the ground.

When people feel they're being
flushed down the loo, basically,

I think if someone comes in
and says,

"Can I - I want to shine light
upon you," then people respond.

There's a reason.

- We close at midnight, love,
take your time.

- But I didn't know
the characters.

I certainly didn't know Derek
in the ticket shop,

and he wouldn't let me in
the ticket shop,

'cause I didn't have
the correct paperwork.

God, he was pedantic.
Which is why it was so magical

when I got in there

that he was as he was.
- ... and be prepared to accept

that you're not going
to go any further.

I think that's the difference

between being happy
and miserable.

Because I'm not going
to achieve anything in life.

So, as you say,
I must be depressed, mustn't I?


- What would you have actually
liked to have achieved?

- I don't really know.

Dreams you can have,
but that's not the same

as wanting to achieve something,
is it?

- People want
to talk to cameras mostly,

not because
they want to be famous,

it's because
there's such a seductivity

of just a neutral listener.

And usually we've been trained
to be listeners

when we have a camera.

And that is a rare thing
in our world:

somebody to just listen to you.

- People will say things
in front of a camera

that they wouldn't even say
to their loved ones.

That's what I find
is so strange.

The camera
has this effect on you,

where somehow,

because of the artificiality
of the situation,

you're more honest
and more truthful

rather than less honest
and truthful,

and I don't know
quite why that is.


- He would've been up
at first light, I thought,

because I was desperately,
desperately thirsty

and he would've wanted
to get down and get water.

And he would've wanted
to find me.

- Now I did stop and pause

and I shouted across
into the crevasse.

I yelled and yelled
and yelled, "Joe, Joe..."

- As I was interviewing
Joe and Simon,

they would, first of all,

come out with this very pat,
very simplistic version

of things,
and for a couple of hours,

we just go that out of the way,

and then they kind of ran out
of things to say.

And then this extraordinary
thing happens

where, actually,

the camera starts to act
as a kind of catalyst

and starts to sort of almost
drag things out of people.

- And I suppose, again,
with the benefit of hindsight,

you know,
after I got off the rope,

I should have gone
and looked into the crevasse

to see where he was,
you know, but...

- You could literally
see them...

reliving elements of it.

You know, once I started
to see that on the monitor,

Well, that's the film.

- I think the interesting thing
is to know:

What is the relationship

between the person
behind the camera

and the person
in front of the camera?

Because that's something

an audience
have the right to know.

It's, like: Do these people
like each other?

Do they have
an intimate relationship?

Is it a relationship of trust?

What does the filmmaker
actually really think?

- Phew!

- There's this sort
of weird intensity

in the relationship
that develops.

Which developed with
Aileen Wuornos in particular.

- We have evil in us,
all of us do.

And my evil
would just happen to...

come out
because of the circumstances

of what I was doing.

Hitchhiking, hooking,
on the road...

I was a homeless person
all my life.

- The, uh, Aileen film was...

... probably the most difficult
thing I've ever done

and I imagine
Nick feels the same way.


You know,
we had a relationship with her.

She actually requested
that we come

and be witnesses
to the execution,

which, uh...

we declined.

- I choose people
that I can relate to.

And I... I trust, also,
from my side.

And I...

before switching on a camera,
I usually...

... tell them,
as good as I can,

who I am and what I am doing,

what I'm made of, you know.

Elizabeth was a key character,

was a very close friend of ours.

Insider, in a way.

She knew
what we were looking for,

she knew our thoughts,

she knew, you know,
what we're...

what we're about to do,

what kind of film.

- And suddenly
she's not there anymore.

She's dead.

And, of course,
it had to be a part of the film.

Because it was so hard
on ourselves and...

and, of course,

it's a very, very painful part
of the film.

Because the pain
we had as filmmakers

is now on screen.

And that is what we call
art of cinema,

is to transform
a life experience into cinema

and then make it
into your life experience,

as a spectator.

- People think they're going
to be interviewed

sitting behind a desk

with a flag and a flower
behind them.

And, you know,
they become very presentational.

Uh, and I think what Nick does
is fantastic,

because he... he gets people
in their essence.

That's why he likes
to be rolling

when we knock on a door
and somebody opens it.

- I heard he was at least 6'7.

- Our brains are saturated
with information

within the first second
of seeing somebody.

- A knock like that,
it gotta be somebody scared.

You was knockin'
like you were scared, man.

- Scared.
- Yeah.

- No, I'm not scared.
- All right.

- You see this sort of giant.
It's very funny.

I think it's quite revealing
of both me and him.

We take in information
so quickly.

And the audience is getting
all this information too.

- Black people don't do that.

You want it clear,
I want you to see!

Folks'll be running out the door
with your television!

- I think there's been
a tradition in the past

of going in
and interviewing people

and changing
their sitting room all around

and relighting it,
and all you're doing

is destroying the very things
that you should be filming.

- My dad used to tell me
when I was a young kid,

I'd look at a job
that had to be done

and he'd say to me,

"You know,
nothing's impossible."

And that always stuck
in my craw.

I couldn't believe it -
"nothing's impossible."

- There was no such office.
We created the office.

He had the insurance trophies
up in the attic in a box,

we brought 'em down,
we put 'em up on the wall.

We created this environment
for him.

- ... and I'd specifically
designed my office

so that I could display
the maximum trophies

on walls and stuff.

- And in that environment,
he came alive.

It was a return to these...

moments of the past.

He came alive for the camera.

We created something

which was part
of his fantasy world.

- I don't like this whole idea
of interview,

you know,
in a documentary,

because it's like
somebody's telling you

something that's happened,

and you sort of set something,
you know.

Whereas, what I... what I love,

is when things happen naturally
in real life.

It's this whole thing

of seeing something unfold
in front of you.

the little nine-year-old,

who was eight
when she was circumcised,

she came up to me
and said, "Come to my house."

Oh, she's going
to read me a poem

and then she expects
an interview.

I said, "We don't really
do interviews, Fouzia."

And she said,
"You've got to come.

I've depended on... I want...
I've got a reason

for you to come,
I want you to come."

So we went and,
"Stand there, Kim. Right."

And then she told me the poem
right into the camera.

- I want to tell you a poem

"The Day I Will Never Forget."

"It was on a Sunday night
when my mum called me

"and she said, 'My daughter,
come,' in a low voice.

"I went quietly.

"Suddenly, my mom said,

"'My daughter,
tomorrow is your D-Day.'

"I was shocked to hear that,

"but I was not expected
to say anything.

"In the morning I was dragged
and pinned on the ground

"when three women set
and crucified me on the floor.

"I cried till I had no voice.

"The only thing I said was,
'Mom, where are you?'

"And the only answer I got
was, 'Quiet. Quiet, girl.'

"The pain I had experienced

"was one I will never forget
for the rest of my life

"and I would not wish the same
to happen to my friend.

That night..."

- I suppose those are the things
that you sort of depend

on happening,
but I couldn't have planned it.

- The question
of how you frame an interview,

how you photograph an interview,

how you cut an interview,

is all really up for grabs
and very, very interesting.

What is at the heart of this?

This is the only job
you've ever had.

- It's a more complex phenomenon
than you might think.

- I'm learning about things

I'm really fascinated with.

- I was thinking
about the Interrotron

before I even became
a filmmaker.

I certainly was aware

of this whole issue
of eye contact.

- How could I get the person
I was interviewing

to look at me
and look right into the lens

at the same time?


the answer is mirrors.

Prompters cross-connected,

two cameras.

My image
is floating on the lens,

but the camera is looking
straight through that image

at the person.

It makes The Fog of War

a different kind of film.

You're really scrutinizing

and McNamara is talking directly
to you and the audience.

- He and I'd say I...

were behaving as war criminals.

- I don't even think
it was clear to me,

at the time
that I was making it,

how powerful
that actually could be.

LeMay recognized
that what he was doing...

would be thought immoral

if his side had lost.

Well what makes it immoral
if you lose

and not immoral if you win?

- With a documentary,

there's an agreement
with the audience

that you are referencing,
or giving an account of,

evidence-based reality.

That you are actually saying,

"This is the way the world is
as I see it."

And that has very little to do
with whether you use actors

or recreations,
or anything really,

except that there's an agreement

that this is an account
of reality.

People have a sense
when that is violated.

- This is Dieter Dengler.

He came to America
40 years ago...

- I just discovered
that Werner Herzog,

when he did
Little Dieter Needs to Fly,

he had this scene
where Dieter comes home

to his house in California

and he opens and closes
the door several times.

Because he was a prisoner
in Laos, he can't feel shut in,

so he opens
and closes the door quickly

to make sure it's unlocked.

And it's a very powerful moment,

and I always remember it
in the film.

Total bullshit.

Herzog made that up
and made him do it.

And it is
a wonderful dramatization

of the guy's theme,
but I think that's a lie.

- Look at Michael Moore.
He makes pamphlets, basically.

He makes polemical films,

where he carefully constructs
a reality to serve his needs.

And he's blatant about it
and he makes...

he's careful
in checking his facts,

but when you see his films,
which are hugely popular

and have done a great deal
for us documentarians...

but he commits,
some people would say,

crimes towards the art form
of documentary.

- It is all manipulation.

I mean, let's not be
too sort of saintly about this.

I think filmmaking
and documentary-making

is a very subjective process,

and anybody
who tries to present themselves

as telling the truth
in some way

is perpetrating a fraud,
because it's just impossible.

- This idea
that there is no such thing

as absolute truth,
that truth is subjective -

"there's truth for you,
there's truth for me,"

has their own truth" -


... for me,
that's nonsense talk.

There's a real world.

We inhabit that real world.

Things happen.

Someone sits...

in the driver's seat of that car
and pulls the trigger.

That's not up for grabs.

There's not this guy's truth
and that guy's truth.

There's the truth of what
actually happened that night.

- When you see a film

and you have good reason
to think that it's the truth,

then your knowledge
of the real world

has been increased.

And it's so important for us
to really know what's going on.

- You do have to be respectful
of the facts.

Yeah, you should let the facts
get in the way of a good story.

You absolutely should.

And out of that
will emerge a true story.

- I tell the story in a way

where I'm searching for...
not for just the facts,

I am into something
which gives you deeper insight

into an essence,

into a concentration
of something

that is way beyond facts
and that is truth,

"an ecstasy of truth,"
as I sometimes call it.

facts are not that interesting.

If you want to have facts,

go and buy yourself

the phone directory
of Manhattan.

You've got eight-million entries

and they're all correct,
they're all facts,

but they do not constitute

- All of it is artificial.

They're all different shades
of the same colour.

What I'm trying
to do in my films

is equally dishonest,
if you like.

I'm trying to say,
"This really is real.

"This is me, hand-holding,
they're talking to me,

there are no other gizmos,
this is life as it happens."

But obviously
that's also rubbish,

because I've chosen that person.

The person's changing their
behaviour because I'm there.

In the edit,
they'll be put in a context

that makes them
slightly different.

- I mean, we're all aware

that there is no such thing
as an objective voice.

So you must acknowledge

but at the same time,

I really think that unless
you are constantly checking

and calibrating that perspective
as you're working,

you can stray off
into dangerous places,

ethically, morally.

- The sequence
in One Day In September

where we see
Joseph Romano's body,

him in a photograph dead,
covered in blood,

presents classic filmmaker's
moral dilemma.

- I can imagine him...

... calling my name.

- Joseph Romano's wife
and his daughter

saw the way that we put this
together and they were appalled.

They said, initially,

"We don't want that sequence
to be in the film."

As a storyteller,
you want to impact your audience

and show them
how terrible this event was.

I said if you want people
to feel

like somebody's really to blame,

you need to show them
what they're to blame for.

So, in the end,

they agreed
that the footage should stay in.

Ultimately, you've got
to look into yourself and say,

"Do I feel like I'm doing
something exploitative,

or don't I?"

And it has to be
a personal decision

and there is
no hard and fast rule.

- I always tell
the individual person,

because it always happens.

We get very intimate

and the person is in confidence

and will say things sometimes

that they never said before
to anyone else,

because of the relationship

you develop with your subject.

And I always say to them,
at first,

"Should it be
that you say something

"that you feel very sorry
that you said it,

"you tell me...

and I don't have to use that."

Now the difference is,
many people say,

"You're crazy to do this,

"because what if the person
tells you something

"and you're the only one
that knows it

and it's very important
to the film?"

For me,
it's never important enough

for me to damage someone's life.

- We think
it's a kind of noble enterprise.

We're revealing
and capturing people's stories

and transforming them
and sharing them with people,

but in fact we rely very much
on people's stories,

so we are sucking,
in a certain way,

the stories right out of people.

- You know,
it's a difficult job sometimes.

There's a conflict.

Sometimes you want something
in the film

and they don't want
to be in the film.

There's a bit of a feeling
of "grab it and run," you know,

there's a temptation
to want to do that.

- I really have a problem

with this sort
of documentary tradition

of, sort of, the First World
going to the Third World

and bringing
those pictures back.

I mean, I think it doesn't...
I think it's problematic,

because it really doesn't
address the fact:

Who's actually
looking at these films?

- This type of punishment,
they can't bear it,

because they are children.

- We have looked through
every one of these files.

These juveniles are dangerous.

- You know,
it'd be very easy for me

to have made a film

about my imperilled experience
in Iraq.

And so if I had
a bunch of Americans

watching a film
about me in Iraq,

it would basically be a story
about how dangerous Iraqis are.

And, ultimately,

the film is how much Iraqis
are suffering in this war,

how much like us they are,

and how little
we know about them.

- What people often say is,
you know,

people from a country should
film people in that country,

and that's...
there's a big truth in that,

particularly for countries
that have always been filmed

by people from outside
'cause of economics.

But within that country,

there's so many
different layers.

Often people with the equipment

are gonna be people
from the upper part of society.

And I remember
with the court case at the end

in The Day I Will Never Forget,

there was a local TV crew,

these two Kenyan guys there...

- We said to them,
"Are you going to come back

in two weeks, you know,
when we get the verdict?"

They said, "Oh no,
it's not a big story,

and it wasn't very interesting,
we're not gonna come back."

And that's what I say to people
when they say, you know,

"How dare you, Kim,
go to Kenya and make a film?"

- That court case
would never have been filmed,

because it wasn't thought of
as important.

It was never gonna be filmed
by local TV crews,

because they were interested

in filming the dignitaries,
the rich people,

what they thought of
as TV events.

And these little girls
from the mountains

taking their parents to court
wasn't seen as a news story.

- For me, one
of the most important aspects

of this ethical enterprise
called documentary

is to really protect
the subjects that we're filming.

They're living
in parts of the world

that are less privileged
than ours,

and, literally,
their lives are on the line.

- In the first week of filming,
I was arrested twice,

I was chased by mobs
once or twice.

And I knew that this
was being done on orders

from, you know,
ministers in the government

at that point and so on.
So, if anything,

it got my back up
and I said, you know,

"I'm actually more determined
to finish the film."

- Adversity is a natural element

in which a movie
is getting created.

In a way,

filmmaking is not welcome
to the regular world,

and you have to anticipate
there will be controversies,

there will be adversities...

- Almost every single film,

you think you're going this way,
you hit a wall,

you have to go this way,

and, lo and behold,

it takes you into an area
that is unexpected

and actually is your movie.

With A Place Called Chiapas,

I ran into a real wall

with Subcomandante Marcos,

who was one
of the major figures,

the iconic figure
of the Zapatista uprising,

and the two of us
ended up arguing.

You know, we didn't get along,

which was like a nightmare.

And besides all of that,
he was busy!

He was running a revolution,

- Subcomandante Marcos!

- It cranked up the stakes
of the film on all sides.

It made it
a more sophisticated film,

a more complex film.

- From all sorts of sides,

there are forces
intruding on you,

and you have to keep them
at a distance,

and you have to...
to move on anyway.

- You have to be able
to be alive to the moment.

You have to be so aware
of everything

that is happening around you.

- When I get something
that reads on screen

the way it was unfolding
in reality,

it's still magic to me.

- You're always
gonna miss something,

but it's okay.

What you need to get,
you'll get.

- I think the access
you go in with

is often not the same access
you come out with.

In a way,
just by your presence,

your friendships,
your behaviour,

you hope that the trust
and the access deepens.

You have superficial access,
but it's your job

to then make it deeper
and deeper and deeper

to people
and what they're feeling,

but also often higher and higher
and higher in the hierarchy,

because people in power

are always so reluctant
to be filmed.

- Even once Kofi Annan said yes,

all the worker bees

didn't want to know anything
about me,

but there was one person
who was key to me -

and she was a woman
who was gonna lead

a peacekeeping operation
over to the Congo -

and even she said to me,
"I know why you're here,

"and I don't want to have
anything to do with you,

"I don't want to be filmed,

"I don't think
what we do is public,

"it doesn't help me
that you're here,

"and I'm gonna make it
as hard as I can

to make it impossible
for you to film."

And I said, "Okay."
Her name was Meg Carey,

and I said, "Okay, Meg,
well, there we go.

I mean, I'm not gonna leave..."

And we headed off to the Congo
the next week

and it took about a year
for Meg to come onside,

but eventually she did,

and eventually
Meg became the film.

And she became my conduit

inside this extremely complex

- ... It is once again
a unilateral action

taken by the government...

- I actually do not like
meeting people

before... if I'm going
to film with them.

I do not even
go through any organizations

or any contacts at ground level.
I just go to the area.

- Ninety percent of the people
I've interviewed in the film

are people I've never met
in my life before.

- I decided
not to use microphones

and lights and, you know,
any kind of intrusive equipment.

I shoot with a tiny handycam.

In that, sort of making
the person who I'm with

completely comfortable.

- I'm following something,
I'm like on a river,

I'm following it,
I don't know where it's going.

And that's the scary side of it,
because I think, you know:

Maybe I won't get a story,
maybe things won't happen,

but the sort of wonderful side
of it

is that you could be somewhere
and it all starts happening,

and you're filming it.

- Do you want
to go off to bed, darling?

- In Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go,
there's a scene

where there's this little boy,

and you can see
that he's very, very quiet,

because he's in love
with his mom

and he doesn't want to move.

And you can see
that she's already disengaged,

she's already going on
and wanting to leave

and go back to her own life.

And you can see that the social
worker's rather cross with her,

'cause she's late and she knows
she doesn't really want

to be there,
she's already moved on.

So you can see
these three things.

- Ben, it's time to go.

- I'm hoping the audience,
in that one scene,

will see it from
all different points of view.

And I think the only way
that can happen

is if the scene
isn't controlled.

- Good boy, Ben.
I'll see you again soon.

Keep up the good work, Ben.

- There's a kind
of looseness to it,

so you can put yourself into it,
so they're long shots

that hopefully the audience
can put themselves into.

- You're constantly
having to be aware

that you shouldn't interfere
with the action,

so your body cannot
get in the way of the door,

or the relationship
with someone else in the room,

or you have to be careful
that your presence

isn't going to block
somewhere they might go.

And I like
the lack of communication,

I like the fact that
that's just me working that out,

so I know what I want
from that person,

and I know how, maybe,

I'm going to sit with them
and shoot with them.

The nightmare is obviously:
being a cameraman

is a whole job in itself
and quite a complicated job,

and there's a lot
that can go wrong.

- Allez. Allez...

- The feeling
of holding a camera

and being a part of a scene,

and reacting
and responding to a scene,

it's just thrilling.

And that is the secret
that camera people never tell,

that the joy is in the shooting.

- I don't think the way
most cinematographers do,

getting a wide shot
and a close-up

and a reaction shot
and so forth.

I see things
the way I would as a person,

and I think
that helps the process,

for the person who watches it,

to feel a greater closeness
to what's going on.

- You can see
how complete it is.

The bible runs
as little as $49.95...

- The opening scene of Salesmen

is such a perfect kind
of forecast

of what's to come.

- Which plan
would be the best for you?

The A, B, or C?

- I'm really not interested.
I want to think it over

with my husband.
- Yeah. Yeah...

- Also such a perfect revelation

of my camera work at its best.

In the middle
of that little scene,

you see the child
on the mother's lap yawning,

and then it seems it at...
at exactly the right moment,

but a moment
totally chosen by the child,

not by me.

She goes over to the piano

and knocks out a tune
that Beethoven

couldn't have created
more appropriately for the mood.

- I just couldn't afford it now.

We're swamped
with medical bills.

- In the kind of shooting
that I do,

the smaller the team,

the better able you will be
to, you know,

not interfere with the process
that you're trying to shoot.

So I think, you know,

it's best if the person
who is the director

is either doing sound
or shooting,

and not just standing around
and conducting.

Which, you know,

I just would want that person
to be out of the room.

- I think when you work
with a cameraperson,

the difficulty,
I'm sure for every director,

is that the cameraperson
has to be your eyes, you know,

and you have to have
a certain trust in them.

I work with Claire Pijman,

who's a Dutch camerawoman,

and we've worked together now
for about 14 years.

While I create and imagine

a lot of scenes,

finally it's up to Claire
to see it the way I see it.

In Don't Ask Why,

I wanted a very particular way
of filming the scene

when Anusha is walking
through the bazaar

and there are all these men,
you know, staring at her.

I'd explained it to Claire,
she shot it for me,

she showed it to me
and she said,

"Is this what you want?"
And I said no.

I told her
that I really wanted it

to be more threatening.

More like people
are really looking at her

and watching her.
And I wanted to get

a lot of faces in and so on.

And then she was able

to create that for me.

- The cameraperson is confined
to what they see and hear,

I'm looking
at the broader horizon,

I'm seeing what's happening
outside the frame,

and I'm directing them
to the things I want to see.

And with a really good
cameraperson -

and I've had
very good relationships

with very, very good people -

it becomes a tango,
it becomes a dance.

You know, you're whispering
in their ear that, really,

if they'll just go
a little longer

and pan a little to the right,
you know,

that's really
where I want to be,

and they'll find
two faces there.

And, you know...
So it's... it's a process

of literally directing the shot.

And so that's a very important
component for me as well,

the visual sense.

- For Bones of the Forest,
Heather and I were trying

to give you
an experiential sense

of the beauty and grandeur

and subtlety
of the old-growth forest.

So you could actually
feel for yourself

how important they were to save.

And in order
to express that fully,

it seemed that we needed
to go outside the usual palette

of just solid,
standard nature shots.

You know, we wanted
to actually show you

the time of the forest,
which has its own pace.

So time-lapse photography
was part of that.

It's not eye candy.

It's not just special effects.
It's really about trying

to break through
patterned thinking

and allow us a fresh perspective
on something.

- I do think
that not nearly enough emphasis

is put on the visual side
of filmmaking,

of documentary filmmaking.

Because the story
is so important,

and the people who tend
to make documentaries

are... are... are, I mean,

they're the high priests
of that issue,

and they're just so swept up
by the rightness of the issue

that they forget
that they gotta tell a story.

And they gotta tell a story
to people

who don't care nearly as much
about this subject as they do.

- On the one hand,
many of my colleagues

were working to...
- I was really, really careful

about where I filmed
those people

and when I filmed them.

And I had spent so much time
at the UN building in New York,

that I knew
at 4:00 in the afternoon

on a certain kind
of weather day,

if I put Meg in this room there,
the light would be good on her.

And I would only film her
at that time,

because I knew
she was gonna give me

the same kind of material,

whether we filmed her
at 8:00 in the morning

or 4:00 at night
in this better light,

so why not make the effort

to film it
when the light is just right?

- ... because you felt,
what am I doing wrong,

that I'm not being able
to convince these member states

that they need
to provide the troops necessary

to save these lives?

- You're presenting a palette
of colours for the editor,

so that he or she
can really edit with pacing

and with the abstract
rather than the literal.

And then you're really...
then you're really storytelling.

There's one shot
in A Place Called Chiapas -

and it's done by a wonderful
Mexican cinematographer

by the name of Eduardo Herrera.

Marcos says
the Zapatista movement

is, in fact,
more about ideas than bullets...

The entire press core is parked
on the edge of the river bank,

and where does Eduardo
put himself and his camera?

Right in the middle
of the river.

He swings
to reveal 50 photographers.

And so there's a huge payoff!

There's a beginning,
a middle and an end

and a sense of humour
to the shot.

There's a place for great art
in all of this.

- I read this book -
about two men on a mountain -

and I said, "This is
such a wonderful subject

for a documentary,
but how the hell do you do it?"

You couldn't make that story
as a fiction film either.

People have been trying
for many years.

Tom Cruise, for instance,
had the rights.

Lots of different people
had the rights.

And nobody had managed to make
a fiction film out of it,

because, again,
it's all internal.

And documentary
is wonderful for the internal,

because people love to talk
in a documentary, so I thought:

The only way to do this
is to combine

some elements of drama
with elements of documentary.

But I was so nervous
about doing that.

That was the real challenge.

How do you get reconstruction
that matches up to reality,

especially matches up
to this extraordinary story?

- This pain just came flooding
down my thigh and my knee.

It was very, very, very painful.

- The re-enactment...

is not re-enacting anything.

It's there to make you think
about reality,

about what we take
to be reality,

what we think is reality,

what claims to be reality.

- Because the whole time
we're screwing around

and not doing the damn job,
Americans are dying.

- Standard Operating Procedure

is a movie
with three ingredients.

One of them is interviews
with real people.

The second ingredient
is the photographs.

The photographs
that were taken at Abu Ghraib

in the fall of 2003.

And the third element...

is re-enacted material.

Bits and pieces, detail.

I like going after odd details.

- ... with wires on his fingers

and he was told
he would be electrocuted

if he fell off.

- And those are constructed.

But underneath all of it
is this pursuit of some truth.

- ... I mean, that would
keep anybody awake,

so it was part
of the sleep plan.

- When you open your newspaper
or you hear a news report,

you just get the facts.

And the way in which things
actually happen

is very complicated
and circumstantial.

And it comes out
of so many different influences.

And I think in a film
like Battle for Haditha,

you try and re-create all that

using ex-marines,

using Iraqi refugees.

It's very much based on research

that one would've done
for documentary...

... with a pretty defined

Very little dialogue
actually written out,

and allowing the real people

to bring themselves
to those roles.

So you create many layers,
hopefully, of understanding

that you don't get
from the news reports

and other media.

- In the wrong hands,
that's quite dangerous,

which is when you re-create
with real people

who come with all that sort
of extraordinary behaviour

when people
have been in a situation.

They know how to behave.
And, I mean,

I think Battle for Haditha
is absolutely brilliant,

and I think: Thank God
it's Nick doing it.

Because as a technique,
it's quite dangerous

to re-create reality,
because it's so seductive.

You really, truly believe
that is what happened.

If reality programs
are borrowing

the sexy packaging of fiction

and fiction is borrowing
the immediacy and excitement

of documentary
and news as we know it -

I don't know
where that's going -

then it's so confusing
for people to know

what is or isn't truthful
in the end,

and what is whose view,

and what actually happened
or didn't.

And I just think it's something
we should be careful of,

and just sort of speak more
about the fact

that there is
this real crossover.

- For me, the distinction
between feature films -

I mean narrative feature films -
and documentaries

doesn't exist that much.

For me, it's all movies.

And the borderline
is quite often blurred...

In documentaries,
I keep inventing,

I keep using my fantasy.

I invent dreams.

- I think that sound
is like the heartbeat of a film.

If the sound isn't good,
then the film's thin.

You know, the sound is where
you get the emotion of a film.

With Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go,

the classrooms are sonoisy
and you look at it

and you don't maybe appreciate
what Mary's done.

- Are you disappointed?

Well done.

- Because her sound's so good,
people just accept it.

- Don't hurt other people
because you're cross or sad.

- You can hear everything
everybody's saying.

They're all in different sides
of the room,

there's all these kids
screaming in the room

at the same time,

but you can hear everything
really, truly.

The film would be unwatchable
if it hadn't been for Mary.

- It's okay to feel like that.
But you need to let us help you.

That's why we're here.
- I'll twist your arm off.

- You don't need to do that...
- And they have to be so strong.

I mean, she's kind of, you know,
like a ballet dancer,

getting close to everybody,
following everything,

watching me,
we're working together...

It's a whole skill, you know,

which people don't often notice.
- Alex, in a mainstream school,

you can't be under the table
all the time. Can you?

- I wouldn't do that.
I never used to do that

in the last two schools
I went to.

- One of the things
that's really an error,

in the way
things are going these days,

is that people actually think

that a sound recordist
is disposable.

And that you can do it yourself,

or your poor cameraperson,
who is supposed to be framing

and making sure that the world
is in focus and lit properly,

is supposed to take this on,

or - God forbid! -
the director do it.

- This is an unlawful assembly.

All persons...

... whether on the streets,
the sidewalks,

or in the doorways,
you must disperse,

or you will be arrested!

- When we start off
with an awareness of sound

as an important aspect
of the overall film

and leave space for it
and anticipate it

and work it in
while we're picture editing,

the marriage of the two
can become quite profound

and can move us
to much deeper places.

You can tell
another level of the story,

and sound takes us
to deep places

in a way that scent does,
for example.

Sound triggers emotions,

sound triggers memory.

So we can really hit people
at a deep level with sound.

- One of my favourite pieces
of sound in Touching the Void

is the sound of the crevasses.

It should be something
that's scary,

but something that also has
a human tone to it.

We played around
with all these different sounds.

Eventually, one day,
the sound editor said, "Yeah,

"I've got this great sound
for you, listen to this.

This is the underlying sound
for the crevasses."

He played it to me
and I thought:

Wow, that's very spooky.
"What is it?"

He said, "That's the sound
of a leopard roaring

slowed down 50 times."

So it was this wonderful
animal sound,

but it felt so deep and profound

and kind of frightening,

but mournful at the same time.

- I knew before we went to China
that I wanted the design

to emerge
out of the industrial soundscape

that we were going
to be immersed in.

So we gathered an enormous
amount of wild sound.

And I wanted the density
of that industrial soundscape

to be apparent in the film,

but also that sometimes
melody or rhythm

would emerge
from that soundscape

and you couldn't tell -
Am I hearing?

Is this music,
or is it just, you know,

the rhythm of some hammer
or machine?

And then it would go back down
into that soundscape

and come out
and go down without ever -

only a few times emerging
as a clear, distinct element

before subsuming itself

back down into the sound.

- I really, uh... love music,

and I think
more and more documentaries

are starting to think

that you don't have
to be purist about it,

that you can, like all
other aspects of cinema,

that audiences
really need an aural-scape,

as well as a visual-scape.

- I don't like music...

that is supposed
to tell you what to think.

But I do like music
that creates a bed

where things are driven forward.

The soundtrack
to The Thin Blue Lineis,

I think, one of the best things
that Philip has ever done.

It is essential to the movie.

- ... why did I meet this kid?
I don't know.

Why did I run out of gas
at that time? I don't know.

But it happened, it happened.

- If this is
a non-fiction film noir,

that idea of inexorability,

the idea of being trapped
in a web of fate,

those ideas are really...

driven home by the soundtrack,

by the Philip Glass score.

- Music is an integral element
of storytelling,

of changing
and guiding our perspectives,

our emotional perspectives,
but not only emotional.

It gives new perspectives,
new insights,

a different kind of vision.

- The music creates
unifying shape.

But a part of sound, of course,
is narration.

And I think

it's a phenomenally powerful

Uh, it's... it's the voice
of a storyteller.

And what could be wrong
with being told a story?

- Narration in documentary films

is a very beautiful element,

and most times

it's a... prosthesis.

It's like crutches,
you know,

it's like to help tell a story

without having the images,
you know.

Because you don't have
the images,

so you have to tell
what's happening,

instead of showing.

And showing is always better
than telling, you know.

- I do get annoyed
when I hear people say,

"Oh, we don't want narration."

Or they hire you
as a narration writer

and they say, "Well,
we didn't really want narration,

"but we wanted to bring you in

because we've got some problems
in the storytelling."

Well, then, don't use narration.

If you don't like it,
don't use it.

But if you use it, love it.

And it can be beautiful.

It can be the invocation
to a dream.

- I was always fascinated
by air power,

like so many other boys,
dreaming of being an RAF pilot.

Playing in the rubble
of bombed-out buildings.

Secretly sorry I missed the war.

- I think of narration

as being a voice in your ear

who's telling you a story,

and which is a very different
way to think of it

than a booming voice of God
or from a public podium.

- We've all been targets
ever since.

This is a film
about bombing people.

How it got started,
how it continues,

about what's right and wrong
in war.

- I will write things
and then will start

to assemble scenes,
write to the scenes,

and then will go
the other way around.

We'll use the writing
as a guide to the scenes.

It's a dance back and forth.

- I think editing
is a really underrated skill.

- It's like a puzzle.
- This is important,

that's important, that's
important, throw away the rest.

- Creating a story

where there really is no story.

- I've never, ever trusted
the process.

I sit in the edit
absolutely all the time.

- But then you say, "Well,
what does that cutaway do?"

- There's a kind of mind game.

- And that's one definition
of a lie.

- Endings are tricky...
- The shaping and sculpting...

- Weaving together...

- Vous coupez,
vous l'arrangez...

- And it's sometimes
extremely painful...

- You have to massage
the material over and over

over and over again,
until it looks so simple

that everybody will say,
"What took you so long?"

- It's the despair, I guess,
I think you go through

almost every time
you make a documentary:

you come back
and see your rushes

and they seem
such poor, pathetic things,

and you think: This isn't
the film I wanted to make.

And then you have to figure out,

well, what is the film that's
in there?

What's speaking to you
about these rushes here?

- The biggest problem
you find in the cutting room

is that that usually,
the creator, the director,

is not willing to accept
that shadow, that gap,

between their intentions and
what the material gives them.

- Your allegiance
eventually transfers

from your memory of the event

to what you have captured
on film,

and once that transfer
takes place,

that's when editing
really starts to happen.

When you know: Okay,

this is the finite universe
I have to deal with.

- There's times
when you're working on something

and you think:
Gosh, it would've been amazing

if I had known that first.
And that's what I try to do,

in the film, is try to create
the ideal journey

and replicate those moments
that were really memorable

along the way
of making the film.

- You look at the elements
that you've got,

and you figure out, you know,

how to literally form a braid
out of those elements

that will allow each strand
to inform the other,

and to keep re-engaging
the audience's interest

in the moment.

- When we first met,

you know, the age difference
was a big problem for me...

- You're interweaving material
to create a more complicated,

and yet enlightening, result.
- Then Philip came into my life,

and I said to him - hopefully,
you'll edit this right out -

I said, "Great, I'm gonna fall
in love with you

and you're just gonna
to die on me?"

I mean, I was so callous!

But I just didn't want
anymore loss,

you know?
And he had lost...

- I don't think my films

are made in the cutting room.

I think the cutting room
is more a place

where you simplify material,

and you find themes
and arguments

that run through the material,

and clear, in a sense,
the brush from it,

so that they become
more obvious.

- With The Peacekeepers,

there were so many different
ways to go with that film,

in the editing room,

that for the first couple
of months, we struggled,

because we were putting
way too much into it.

I mean, I had a whole history
of the Congo and Mbutu,

and how it got to this point
that there was a civil war,

and all of that stuff.

And in the end, nobody cared.
They didn't care.

They just cared about...
they cared about Meg.

- You may not want
to deal with them,

and they may have committed
all sorts of human-rights abuse,

but, unfortunately,
you have to deal with them,

because they're the ones
with the power.

- What do these military leaders

- People need a human being
that can lead them

through a kind of political,

logistical minefield.

And once Meg came on screen,
the film came alive.

And all of this other stuff
that we had thrown in there

about the history of the Congo
and how it got to this point,

people didn't care about.

We couldn't make them
care about it.

- You have to be able
to dump very good footage

and not put it...
fit it in the film somehow.

Just dump it,
because it doesn't fit

into that movie,
that's it.

- This case is no more
and no longer about Kathleen.

The D.A. has to win.
That's it.

He doesn't care how
and, basically...

by the same token,
my lawyer, they want to win.

Truth is lost
in all of this now.

Truth is of no meaning

- ... All he wants to do is win.

And I understand that!

- The film
is gonna reveal itself

out of the unexpected moments,
not out of what you planned,

not when you were working
with pencil and paper.

It's going to come out of things
that took you by surprise,

and that you maybe even forgot,

in the whole welter of shooting.

You put two things together
on the editing table,

and you're like,
"How is this possible?"

And then it's in front
of 1,000 people

and they all go, "Wow."

- I sometimes think of a movie
as a sausage casing,

and you're trying to ram

as much meat
into that sausage

as you possibly can,
but there are limits.

Then you have to stop.

There's a dream

of actually influencing
the world in some way,

righting some wrong,

correcting some evil...

It's the documentarian
as possible super hero.

You know,
the guy who fixes the bad stuff.

- The films that we make
are our teachers.

I mean, they're our teachers,

and then we sort of surrender
to them.

- You know,
I often say to people

that the answer to life

is becoming
a documentary filmmaker.

If you want to solve
all your life's problems,

become a documentary filmmaker,

it offers you everything.

- If you look
at just the number of titles

that have been
playing theatrically,

that people
are really talking about,

the stylistic breadth
of those films

has really widened.

There's a lot more inventiveness

in terms of what's accepted.

- New types
of distribution systems

have been developed
with the advent of the Internet.

Everybody now literally
is a documentary filmmaker,

or anybody with a cell phone.

- I can't imagine
anything more important

than portraying -

in a very truthful,
authentic fashion -

what's really going on
in the world.

- I've been able
to be in so many situations

that are not part of my life.

Not only be there,

but have to make
some sense of it

for somebody else
who's not going to be there.

That I really love.

That's still as much fun to me
as it was day one.

CNST, Montreal

- Um, what was I gonna say?

- That's a complicated question.

- J'ai pas bien compris.

- Is there any water?
Is there any water around here?

- Thank you.
I like the lighting.

- Je crois qu'il y a une fin
de cassette qui s'annonce, non?