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Do You Prefer a Documentary or a Dramatized Movie?

The Harvey Milk biopic, Milk, opens this week with Sean Penn portraying the country's first openly gay man to be elected to public office. Long before Milk, however, there was another movie made about Harvey Milk: the riveting and Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk.

Certainly the dramatized versions of peoples' lives can be more entertaining than a straight documentary about them, but with biopics I sometimes find myself distracted by wondering whether particular parts of the movie are real or fudged a little. Then again, I'm probably more likely to watch a dramatized version of things, like Ray or even Erin Brokovich, than I am to actively seek out the facts on my own.

Where do you stand on this topic? Do you prefer the experts' views and firsthand accounts found in a documentary, or a feature film telling the story of someone's life with actors and theatrics?

Source and Milk one-sheet courtesy of Focus Features

Join The Conversation
italianblonde italianblonde 8 years
I like both of them, but maybe documentaries a bit better. I can't wait to see Milk though; it looks amazing and I love James Franco.
cnyc1a cnyc1a 8 years
I saw MILK last night at the Castro Theater. It was amazing
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
Dramatized movie version, unless it's about a subject that really speaks to me then I want to read or watch anything about it (including documentaries).
rickimc rickimc 8 years
I'll take a mockumentary over either any day.
idawson idawson 8 years
generally depends on the topic/subject
fashion4ward fashion4ward 8 years
I honestly have no idea, I rarely watch docs, though. But I cannot wait for MILK!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
It really depends on the subject for me. Someone like Morgan Spurlock tends to make the type of documentary that I can get into, because they're not at all dry, but generally I prefer the dramatized version.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
my preference is for the dramatized movie version. i think that with documentaries that i sometimes get bored with them and i think that they aren't as alluring as a movie version.
Myst Myst 8 years
I normally prefer documentaries. They aren't embellished or stretch the truth.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
In general, I prefer documentaries, but it does depend on the topic. If I'm looking for historical accuracy, I won't rely on dramatized versions to give me the best info, but if I'm looking for a general overview of the times or of the person, dramatizations generally are more satisfying. I'm really looking forward to seeing Milk and to comparing it to the outstanding documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk. Sean Penn is the perfect actor for this film.
Briandiesel Briandiesel 8 years
Just depends on the topic really.
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