Structure and constructive learning in "All Governments Lie"

Last Wednesday, I re-watched a documentary that first opened my eyes to the importance of independent media, and that put words to my skepticism of corporate media. “All Governments Lie,” a 90 minute documentary directed by Fred Peabody, is a detailed account of two things: the nature and implicit process of government corruption, and the field of independent media. The producers of the documentary, including Jeff Cohen and Peter Raymont, discuss the relationship of corporate media, independent media, and government by detailing the life of I.F. “Izzy” Stone, and by visiting modern indy outlets like Democracy Now!, The Intercept, and The  Young Turks.

I saw “All Governments Lie” twice—first, as a college freshman with little exposure to the concept of independent media, and second, as a sophomore with experience at two professional independent media outlets. Both times, I walked out of the Park Auditorium with a huge amount of information and inspiration.

This is the aspect of this movie that is the most impressive and the most effective, in my opinion: The producers of the documentary explain concepts like independent media, government secrecy, and advertiser-control of corporate media in a way that is equally accessible to people with no prior knowledge and to experts. This trait, in my opinion, has helped “All Governments Lie” reach their large audience and create a big wave in the documentary field.

One other strong suit of this movie is its pace and structure. This movie moves quickly, and consistently weaves information from different sources and locations. This not only keeps the audience engaged and entertained—but it forces them to construct their own understanding of the subject as they are watching, and makes the information even more retainable. The structure and flow of “All Governments Lie” uses the strengths of the current journalistic tools used by the independent journalists featured in the documentary.