View Full Version : "Catfish" movie and fake documentaries

Kitty Pryde
09-29-2010, 09:49 PM

So some guys made a documentary called "Catfish (http://www.movieline.com/2010/01/does-sundance-sensation-catfish-have-a-truth-problem.php?page=all)", about a man who falls for a woman in a long-distance online relationship via Facebook etc. When he goes to see her, she's not at all who she claimed to be (similar to "The Night Listener" story, a novel/film based on an actual true story of deception). It played well at Sundance and it's just coming out in theaters now. The claim is that the whole film is a true story. The creators have repeatedly claimed that the whole story is true.

Now some people are claiming that the filmmakers were evil hipsters who knew the woman was fishy and lying, and just decided to take advantage of a sad lonely woman, and exploit her and her disabled kids. They claim this isn't a "true" documentary because of the filmmaker's exploitations of their subjects (see link).

And some other people are claiming that both the filmmakers AND the deceptive woman were BOTH in on things, and it's actually a mockumentary. The only people being exploited are the audience (scroll far down in the comments thread for details on the woman's alleged true identity.).

Anyway, what do you think of this? Does it matter if the creator claims it's true and it's not? It seems like it may lessen the emotional impact if it's all faked. Is that all part of the art, given that honesty of representation is the major theme of the film? Does that just make it better?

09-29-2010, 11:41 PM
I'm just slightly sick of people maligning online relationships. That alone has made me want to throw popcorn at this film, which is just another one riffing on the 'people who find love online are sad/pathetic/shut-ins/manipulative/liars' theme that's been going on since the freaking 80s.

I mean, it's not like anyone in real life could ever POSSIBLY lie about their relationship, pretend to be someone else, or act like a sexual predator.

Stupid meatspace frackheads.

Kitty Pryde
09-29-2010, 11:51 PM
True. I remember in 1995, a friend's big brother met a girl on the internet and married her. Back then it was considered quite scandalous and improper and a fantastic topic of gossip. Fifteen years later, at least half of my friends with new relationships/dates/hookups find them on jdate and downelink and the like. It doesn't seem like it's such a big deal anymore.

09-30-2010, 12:08 AM
And any of the possible options makes the film sound DAMN exploitative.

You're either DESTROYING a poor woman's privacy, making her a freak and a loser in theaters across the country. OR you're lying and manipulating audiences.

Either way: Douchebag.

Earth to Alex
09-30-2010, 04:32 AM
I think it being real adds to the emotional factor and the contemporary part. I was at a Q & A with the filmmakers and they seemed pretty real.