Main Task Research: Documentary Analysis of A Place Like This


The main narrative of ‘A Place Like This’ is a story about a man who was part of the Royal Air force during the war. He was the only member of the seven-man crew to survive the raid on Dortmund. Within this documentary he begins to tell his story of the night and how he survived and how he would like to die.

The representation within this documentary is based upon a man called Alex Jenkins, that is clearly part of a older generations which already draws in an emotional response. He  is mainly talking about his life during the war, his role and how he survived the raid on Dortmund. The documentary talks about how he thinks people should die after he experienced such a horrific thing as the affects are everlasting. This particular documentary is based upon his experiences and the real emotional responses to what the war is really like. This documentary is good as it includes some areas that people would see as taboo, and creates a significant emotional response.

The mise-en-scene within this documentary consists of a variety of slow pan shots creating a calming affect. The way in which Alex is dressed smartly in a blue shirt and black trousers, this is slightly stereotypical as is suggesting age. The setting of the documentary is based in a garden, which juxtaposes the whole theme of the documentary being war- this creates significant affect on the audience as it shows that Alex is not wanting audiences to feel bad for him and his experiences but to connect and admire what you have around you.

The way in which this documentary in terms of camera work is straight away presented with a variety of establishing shots on the garden, again suggesting beauty and colour. The whole documentary is based upon a variety of mid-shots, which is stereotypical with a documentary genre. However, this particular one uses close ups for affect whenever Alex is showing some sort of emotion, whether that be happy or sad, which demonstrates his emotional paralanguage. This works alongside diegetic sound of what theme he is talking about.However, a variety of non diegetic sound is used throughout to when he is telling his story but shots are on his garden. As the location is outside, a variety of sound affects are used, for example; birds chirping and wind.