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Submitted By bigcat1
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“Tarnation” is one of the most struggling and outstanding autobiographical documentary that I have ever seen. I had even considered it to be a horror film during the first half of the movie since it has many scenes that are riddled with violence and bloodiness. It features mental illness, rape, abuse, and homosexuality all wrapped up in the touching chronological framework of family love. With the development of the film, my emotion just flowed with Jonathan’s story. I was taken through a broad range of emotions, which include fear, surprise, excitement, and upset as I witnessed the ups and downs of the story. Being the storyteller as well as the filmmaker, Jonathan opened the whole personal world to us and shared all his views about life with us without doubt. “Tarnation” is a man’s bold expression to tell the story of his own life, and for me, it just shook my heart and my mind. As with Renov’s first thesis about autobiography and documentary where “the very idea of autobiography reinvents the VERY IDEA of documentary”, Jonathan brought us a very unique, bold, creative, and extremely stylish way to watch the documentary films. “Tarnation” differentiated itself from most other traditional documentaries in its truthfulness root from the inner self – “private truth and inner realities” (Renov). Unlike documentary films, which rely on different sources of interviews and researches to enhance their arguments and facts, autobiographical films rely on audiences’ judgment and confidence on how people tell the stories about themselves. In traditional documentaries audiences are forced to listen to the narrator’s voice, telling you what is happening, what did happen, and what will happen. In this film, Jonathan employed the visual texts to give us more attention towards the images on the screen. With these words displayed on the screen, we focus on Jonathan, his mother, the

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