• The movie's cautionary message is more
one of personal responsibility than
• Advertising is powerful but wrong.
• Children need help to find healthy food.
• Personal choices have powerful
Definition of Expository documentaries
Facts are used to create a socially critical argument
The line of argument – what the documentary is saying
Can be plain and direct or indirect and hidden but always
‘Voice of God’ – authority – Explains what we are looking at
The exposition/arguement – provides a structure, anchors
Re-telling the ‘truth’
Simplifies issues, shorthand
A expository documentary uses a narrator to address the audience directly and to
present an exposition, or explanation interpreting what they are seeing on screen.
Morgan Spurlock acts as the ‘Voice of God’ in the documentary Supersize me. We
believe him because he is narrating what he has done.
The script is the exposition or argument. Morgan Spurlock uses lots of different
arguments in Supersize me. He addresses the viewers that fast food is bad for
your health and could seriously damage your body. Another argument is how he
blames fast food businesses for the rate of obesity currently in each country.
Reconstructions are often used in documentaries. They are artificial scenes of an event
which has been reconstructed and acted out on film based on information of the
event. Reconstructions generally provide factual information, and give the viewer a
sense of realism, as if the event really happened in front of them live.
Morgan Spurlock uses cartoon images such as a clown crying in Supersize Me to push
his message forward about fast food.
Morgan Spurlock knew what was going to happen to his body before he started
eating the McDonalds. He knew that he would end up putting on weight. However
he also shows that it is not just McDonalds that can cause obesity but it is every fast
The interview is a
technique. It allows
people being filmed to
speak directly about
events, prompted by the
questions asked by the
filmmaker. An interview
may take place on
screen, or off screen, on a
different set. Interviews in
a documentary give the
viewer a sense of
realism, that the
views are mutually shared
by another person or
source, and thus more
Morgan Spurlock has used
lots of interviews in
Supersize Me. He has shots
of him and the doctors
talking about how his health
has changed. This is a
conversational style of
interview. He then has shots
of the Surgeon General on
his own. This is an example
of a talking head interview.
The other type of interviews
he used was with random
people off the street. This
gets public opinion. He then
has more formal interviews
with workers in the fast food