We have arrived at the topic of reality – again. As a doc filmmaker reality has always been the ethically most relevant topic, but what IS reality? Take it a step further: what is reality and what is fiction and where do they become a lie?
As I’m thinking about Identity a lot these days such banal questions as: “Who am I?” or “What is my reality?” pop up all the time. “Which me is real?” Is it the Facebook profile, my adventurous and sexy Avatar on Second Life, the somewhat overbearing producer, or the sloppy me in the lobby sneaking to the mailbox hoping to remain unseen? My nephew announces he has the best score in the world (!) on Nintendo, because Nintendo tells him so. In the world? Yes, in HIS world.
If I don’t know any better, am I lying? I think you are lying if you are claiming to have done something you have not done. Run the marathon? Sure, but actually I didn’t sing up I just entered the race at mile 2 and left just before the finish line as I can’t cross it without an official bib. To me, with my Swiss background that is an outright lie to say that you ran “the Marathon” under those circumstances, to my Latin friend that’s a minor detail no one is going to lose sleep over. Is my friend lying, or is he well within the ethical boundaries of his culture and not lying? It’s a question I cannot decide, because emotional me decides differently than pragmatic me.
There is no absolute Identity, there is no absolute Reality and there is no absolute Truth. What do you think?