Edutainment: education through entertainment.
Docutainment: A documentary with a focus on entertainment.
I first heard of edutainment at a National Speaker Association meeting years ago, but until last evening, never thought of docutainment. I realized the movie I was watching qualified as docutainment.
Google Reveals One Aspect
Curious to learn more about the term, I went where most people go to get quick answers; Google.
My search brought up the site of one company that is dedicated to docutainment. Appropriately named, Docutainment Films the following is listed on their site.
“Without the constraints of a script, we capture stories of true inspiration and strive to produce engaging and entertaining documentary films that not only educate and enlighten, but provide a compelling cinematic experience.”
One Movie Reveals so Much
This company produces documentaries whereas when I thought of the word “docutainment” I was watching Okja, a Netflix movie. The movie is fiction, but if one knows anything about aspects of the food industry, there is a lot of truth in the story line.
The movie starts by showing a multi-national company, Mirando Corporation (might actually be a take on Monsanto), announcing their new “super pigs.”
The company has a global contest to see who can raise the largest pigs.
For 10 years Mija, a young girl who lives in the isolated mountains of South Korea, has been the constant companion and caretaker of Okja, the super pig given to her family as a baby.
Mija is completely unaware that Okja will be taken back by the company for self-promotion reasons and as a cheap food source,
The movie centers around Mija risking everything to prevent the destruction of her beloved companion. On her quest to save Okja, we are taken on a journey that uncovers the atrocities of companies that are creating genetically modified animals strictly for profit.
The labs, the experimentation and the slaughter of helpless animals… all in the name of profit.
One scene centers around the fact that the company’s powers-that-be know what they are doing is harmful to the animals and those who consume the genetically modified animals, but again, they are merely interested in profits.
“Don’t worry,” assures the head of the company. “If we price it cheap enough, people won’t care. That’s all they care about, cheap food.”
Truth in Fiction
As I watched the film, I realized how true the plot is. For the sake of profit, companies are willing to put animals and humans alike at risk.
It also struck me how much opportunity there is for people to educate the public about harmful actions by companies and individuals through story lines in their books. Books that can be made into a movie, aka docutainment.
Months ago, I spent a full day watching several documentaries about how animals are raised, treated and ultimately slaughtered for our food source. It was at some point that day, December 21, 2016, I made a conscious choice to give up meat. This was based on learning the truth about how cruel animals are treated.
This is a personal choice and one that has not been without the usual, “How will you get your protein? You HAVE to eat meat.”
Protein needs aside, I gave up meat for very personal and ethical reasons.
Had I not taken the time to inform myself, I would likely still be eating meat.
What Do You Stand For?
The point of this post is not to talk about my personal choices, but to let you know, whatever you stand for, whatever you believe in, whatever you want to see change on, you can do so through various avenues such as writing books, creating videos and docutainment.
I think of the number of people who will watch Okja. My hope is that films like this will go beyond people being entertained. My hope is that they will inspire people to dig deeper into the truth and atrocities of what is happening in our world to take whatever action they can to educate the public.
Whether it be animal abuse, child trafficking, destruction to our water supply, air and planet, or any number of issues that are important to you, as an author you can definitely raise awareness in a book that could turn into a docutainment film.
The written and spoken word are powerful ways to be an instrument of change. The only thing required is the courage to do what you can to make the change.
Your Calling is Calling
What is the story you are destined to share? What are you willing to do to get the story out to the public? Are you willing to overcome any obstacles to make that happen?
With all that is available to anyone who has a story to share, there is no excuse to not do what you are being called to do.
Will you answer the calling?