Shifting Perspectives: Documentary, Factuality, Poverty Pornography and the Dumagat-Remontados of Sitio Kinabuan
SHIFTING PERSPECTIVES: DOCUMENTARY, FACTUALITY, POVERTY PORNOGRAPHY AND THE DUMAGAT-REMONTADOS OF SITIO KINABUAN
I-Witness is considered to be the Philippines’ longest running news and public affairs documentary program since it first aired on January 18, 1999 in GMA-7. Through the years, it has featured a lot of compelling stories on poverty, corruption, and culture. With the network’s tagline of Serbisyong Totoo (True Service), I-Witness has established their branding of factuality in the stories they present to their audience. On April 3, 2013, I-Witness aired the documentary Rattan sa Pusod ng Sierra Madre which featured the Dumagat-Remontados of Sierra Madre in Tanay, Rizal as they gathered rattan for a living.
This research analysed the reception of the Dumagat-Remontados upon watching themselves as subjects in the aforementioned documentary.
The Reception Theory of David Morley (1992/1999) was used as a guide in gathering and analysing the responses of the Dumagat-Remontados, and the critique of Annette Hill (2007) on the hybridity of factuality in factual television genres was used in interpreting the redefinition of the Dumagat-Remontados to the factuality in documentaries.
This research redefined the factuality in documentaries through the eyes of the often “othered” audience members—the “subjects” of spectatorship.
Keywords: Documentary, reception study, hybridity, factuality, poverty pornography