Twelve Q’s for CH 4 by THE NATION
‘The Nation’ calls on any Channel 4 employee currently in Sri Lanka to respond to the following questions:
1. By Channel 4’s own admission videos produced on Sri Lanka are based on footage from a collection of images gathered by cell phones and videos / How many such items were involved?
2. The documentary was first released on or around June 15, 2011. How much time passed between receiving the originals and the final release?
3. Were the visuals accompanied by simultaneous commentary?
4. Did you have any way to check the authenticity of the material you received and if so, how did you ascertain authenticity?
5. Since the visuals were taken by amateurs, a composite would require editing. Was this done?
6. The video is an edited version of visuals accompanied by your commentary, and based on your interpretation of the visuals. Under these circumstances, could editing be slanted to project a particular perspective?
7. Most of the frames are stand alone. Would it be unfair to conclude that they were deliberately arranged for the viewer to make preferred ‘connections’; e.g. UN officers leaving people behind in enclosures; hospital scenes – — dead bodies and broken tiles on floor, but bottles and medical equipment upright on shelves and table; people taking shelter in trenches; firing of artillery; the commentary on amputation with a knife does not show the doctor or the patient; execution scenes, etc.?
8. Almost all of the people in the execution scene are light skinned whereas most Tamils in the other visuals are dark skinned? How do you account for this?
9. Repeated references are made to rules of war. Are you aware that under rules of war, civilians who render material support voluntarily, or under coercion are combatants, that civilians who volunteer or who are forced to be in the vicinity of artillery placed near hospitals and schools, etc. are also combatants?
10. Is it legal/ethical to use the Kuleshov Effect in a documentary, as you seem to have?
11. Has Channel 4 made documentaries about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or any documentary covering an internal conflict?
12. Did you receive funding for this project, and if so from whom?