Background

Documentary Criticized for Re-enacted Scenes
A New York Times article discusses the so-called biscotti approach to documentary-making used by the filmmakers.

Documentary Film’s Oscar Win Draws Complaints
Interview with the man charged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with reviewing the complaint against the movie (audio).

Do You Swear to Re-Enact the Truth? Dramatized Testimony in Documentary Film
How various recent documentaries have straddled the fine line between ethical re-enactment and falsity.

The Children’s March Video Clip
A short segment from the documentary courtesy of YouTube.

The Birmingham Children’s Crusade of 1963
Background on the historical event that inspired the documentary.

Critics

Oscar-Winning Documentary Subject of Ethics Complaints
An Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker accuses the producers of The Children’s March of doctoring their portrayal of the civil rights event.

Rival Criticizes Oscar-Winning Documentary’s Reenactments
A documentary producer nominated in the same Oscar category claims The Children’s March violates the rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Why Re-Enactments Never Work
This article blames the documentary Thin Blue Line for the rise of documentary re-enactments and calls the practice a betrayal and debasement of the truth.

DocuWeeks Poses a Question: Can You Re-Enact the Truth?
Several critics express concern over the use of re-enactment in prominent documentaries, including Children’s March.

What to Do About Documentary Distortion? Toward a Code of Ethics
One author calls for broad ethical guidelines to prevent documentary re-enactments from crossing the line.

Champions

Play It Again, Sam
Leading documentary filmmaker Errol Morris defends the use of re-enactments, so long as they are disclosed in some shape or form to the viewer.

Errol Morris on Why He Uses Re-enactments
A leading advocate of documentary re-enactments justifies their use in one of his productions.

The Case for Reenactment in Documentary Cinema
This article argues that documentary makers should have the freedom to use all tools—including re-enactments—in their pursuit of an elusive truth.

IMDb Review
The IMDb website gives The Children’s March a rating of 8.3 out of 10.

Related Topics

Cinéma Vérité
A genre of documentary filmmaking that seeks to be as close to reality as possible.

How Revisionist History Works
A brief backgrounder on historical revisionism—the legitimate or illegitimate re-writing and re-interpretation of historical records.

Creative License vs. Creative Arrangement
The author suggests that while documentary makers may employ creative arrangement, they are not at liberty to use creative license.

What is Creative Nonfiction?
An overview of a genre that aims at expressing actual life through the personal lens of the narrator.

Is Selma Historically Accurate?
Although the movie account of the civil rights struggle is seen to be largely accurate, some scenes have been singled out by critics as exaggerated (video).

Other

Southern Poverty Law Centre Teaching Tolerance Initiative
The group and program that helped fund the Mighty Times documentary series.

The Children’s March Teachers’ Guide
The Oscar-winning documentary was accompanied on DVD by lessons plans for grade 6 to 12 classes in subjects including history, civics, and visual arts.

Popular Works involving Re-Enactments
A listing of titles that make use of re-enactments, ranked by popularity

Documentary Reenactments: A Paradoxical Temporality That Is Not One
A scholarly examination of the theory and practice of cinematic re-enactments.

Ethical Challenges in Documentary Making
This American University report details the ethical challenges faced by 41 documentary filmmakers