Fact and fiction

In addition to being a producer of investigative documentaries MacFaydyen is also director of fiction films. He emphasizes the importance of making a clear distinction between them.

Investigative journalism conveys facts to change things for the better, where fiction films mostly raises consciousness. When making an investigative documentary, however, dramatizing facts is considered compromising the integrity of evidence. In for example a court case, where every word spoken is from a transcript, actors can read those and that can be effective. But to reconstruct events, is often extremely difficult, and to illustrate them is often very difficult. A classic example is the reporter in front of a building saying, “In this building behind me, terrible things happened on October xx”. This is boring, but conveys the truth also because the building is real.” Also, once one starts to reconstruct, it is very easy to keep on reconstructing and this seriously weakens the weight of the facts one tries to communicate, according to MacFaydyen. “It is the weight of what the evidence presents, that is going to carry the argument. What's not going to carry the argument, are actors telling you what you have told them to say. Because people will sense, that's not the reality, that's not what actually happened. You have to be very careful, because society largely operates on lies, on a succession and interconnected web of lies. To justify the way society works and to tell the truth about how society treats the vulnerable, it is often difficult to do because the wealthy and powerful are threatened by these disclosures. There is a famous story that if you give a poor man on the street a dollar, you're considered a good Christian. But if you ask, why is that man poor? You will go to prison. And I want to tell the truth about why that man is poor, for example”.