Review of Medium Cool (1969)

Moving picture, 111 minutes

A camera man covers racial dissidents and the demonstrations surrounding the Democratic Convention in Chicago, 1968.

A documentary serves to describe broadly interesting non-fiction as the creators see it. There can be no pure documentaries under that definition, and this one is particularly impure, but it has some truth wrapped in a loose fictional frame: There is a staged and fictional plot and a lot of documentary-style footage of historically important unstaged events mixed in at various levels. It was made to raise questions about the role of documentaries/news and their makers and viewers. The result is unpolished, one crash being particularly silly. Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention feature somewhat prominently.

moving picture non-fiction