Serial politicians, serial journalists, serial people

2021.06.07 09:56

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In 1992, a mockumentary was made in Belgium that shook the world. Originally titled All Happened Near You, the film was released worldwide as Man Bites Dog. “It’s not news if a dog bites a man, but it’s news if a man bites a dog.” While this naming, based on the word of the word, initially serves to reinforce the illusion that the events we watch throughout the film are not fictional but real, in the second half of the film it becomes a reference to the how documentarians and reporters can become the objects of their own films.

In The Man Who Bite the Dog, which today has cult status, we witness the daily life and brutal murders of a serial killer through the camera of a documentary crew. This young man named Benoit Patard presents concrete examples of how he chooses people to kill and disposes of corpses, while introducing his family and friends who run the grocery store. Benoit, who mainly targets orphans, lives off the money he steals from the people he kills.

The documentary team – a group of three people consisting of a director, a cameraman and a sound stage – who did not interfere with the events at first, after a while begin to help Benoit in murders. Sometimes the team even leads Benoit: When asked why he always kills old people on his own and if he’s afraid of the rich, Benoit leads the team to an affluent suburban neighborhood. In the house they raided, Benoit kills the parents, and they catch and kill the 10-year-old boy who escaped into the forest area with the team. They can’t find any money in the family home, they only have credit cards. Benoit says that’s why he chose retired seniors.

While chasing a victim, the lead singer of the team dies. This loss leads, with the opposite effect, to a greater dedication of documentary filmmakers to Benoit’s film; Unaware that they were the ones who actually triggered these events, the team failed to realize the significance of where they were pointing the camera.
Finally, they start committing the crimes of rape and murder with him and destroy the bodies together. Generously responding to the financial needs of the team, Benoit becomes the raison d’être of those behind the camera in every way. Towards the end of the film, the documentary crew now functions as a network of murderers. The most tragic part is this: the film evokes not only the “camera-in front of the camera” relationship, but also the distortion of the “audience-watched” relationship.

With its allegorical narrative, the film, which harshly criticizes the relationship of media organizations to concepts such as “truth”, “truth”, “responsibility”, “conscience”, undoubtedly reminded you of the Turkish media… For example , as if asking a question about animal rights ‘Did you kill him?’ a person asks – “I gave the order!” How could he have a different conscience than Benoit in The Man Who Bite the Dog?!

What about the position of the millions of people who await mobster confession videos every week with great curiosity, enthusiasm and sympathy?! I’m not just talking about the futility of waiting for one of the characters who destroyed the country to clean the country now… Can Dündar for his report on weapons being sent to Sharia in Syria, “He will pay a heavy price for that, I won’t leave it like that!” A gang leader who messaged Dundar while in jail over the news saying, ‘You have betrayed the country, you deserve to be hanged’, stood in front of the camera as s ‘he was talking about something very natural and should While making a terrible admission that weapons were sent to sharia groups with my trucks’ and no one did anything, instead of rebelling against injustice experienced by Can Dündar and his friends and the poverty of justice in the country, those millions of ‘Viewers who were eagerly awaiting the new episode of Sedat Peker’s series, slowly turned to Benoit. become the documentary team opposite?!

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