I tried doing a Performative mode documentary using the movies The Gleaners and I and History and Memory as my examples. I think for the most part it came across as Performative. I used music and sound expressively (which was from It was somewhat essayic, I tried to write a script around a certain idea of decision making. In the book Introduction to Documentary we learn that Performative is closely related to poetic mode: “Like the poetic mode of documentary representation, the Performative mode raises questions about what knowledge actually amounts to.” Then later in that section it described how Performative uses images and sound to create a feeling in abstract ways.

Thus, Decision of the ADHD (the documentary I made) was made as artistic as possible. I Fashioned the bowling to replay over and over just like in History and Memory when we saw the water falling into a canister. I used only footage that was recorded earlier this year which I took from The Gleaners and I. I also interwoven the politics of the elections because it was on my mind. I fashioned that also from The Gleaners and I where the main actress always refers to her age.

I even messed with the images (which seemed only somewhat present in the movie History and Memory, where the image of the water would sometimes be slowed down or zoomed in. I did the same with the picture of the bowling and the newspaper. I even put some in reverse when I talk about things past and regret.

I would argue however that my movie probably leans more into the poetic mode because it looks like it might have spawned from the movie San Soleil, which also was written in essayic form. It also came to an overall conclusion, though, I don’t know what it was. Poetic is suppose to display visuals and sound that in the end come to a point. I might have accidentally made my video this way. I think it was because the essay I wrote wasn’t written like a school paper with proper points (which I don’t know if that is the best way to write an essay).

This assignment was really hard. I wanted to prove a point with two subjects. Both subjects were rather difficult for me to express because I hate politics, but I love my wife, and yet right now I am in the midst of them both. It also made me venerable. I think the hardest part about it was I couldn’t find the images that I wanted to go with my essay, or I couldn’t align my essay with the images. I had to sacrifice something each time and make some rather hard decision as to why some image was on the screen. I think that was the hardest part and something I learned. Next time I watch a movie in this mode, I will pay attention.


Les Gleneurs Et La Gleneuse. Dir. Agnes Varda. Cine Tamaris, 2000. DVD.


History and Memory: For Akiko and Tadashige. Dir. Rea Tajiri. Women Make Movies, 1991. DVD.


San Soleil. Dir. Chris Marker. Argos Films, 1983. DVD.


Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 2001. Print.


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