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Interview: Nev Schulman

By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 22, 2010

Some people have said that the events in your film are too good to be true. In this age ofI'm Still Here, people are wondering whether there are any true documentaries.
We never considered that people would think that the film wasn't real. But I understand the reaction. First of all, there's a movement in media lately toward the sort of reality-based sensationalistic mockumentary, the fake doc, whatever. So people are much more skeptical of that. But I think that for most people who see the film, and certainly people who have come to Q&A's and talked to us, there's never really any doubt. It'd be impossible, or incredibly difficult, for us to come up with something like this. And people tell me all the time about similar things that have happened to them. The only difference is that they don't share an office with documentary-film makers.

Back to reality. Do you think there's any value in the concept?
Here's how I define reality: basically you've got your circumstances, and then you've got your self-expression. In this relationship that I had, I was living my life. That was real, and that was happening to me, and I was expressing myself, my real feelings, to these people. Even though there was this strange middle ground and distance between us physically, in the end, I think the reality of what happened holds true. There was still [spoiler] a love affair, there were real feelings involved. But with much more clarity now, I understand that the internet can serve as a house of mirrors. Because it's taking your image and reflecting it and bending it — it's still who you are, but it comes out the other side looking very different.

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  Topics: Features , Photography, reality, documentary,  More more >
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