Documentaries were supposed to be a dying genre -- and living proof that we were becoming dumber as a nation.
Reality TV is cheaper and easier to make. And who has time for lengthy, in-depth explorations of anything any more in the age of Twitter? Docs were dead, the conventional wisdom decreed, another victim of our rats-on-LSD attention spans.
But everywhere you look these days, it seems as if there's another documentary premiering. And some filmmakers believe that's the result of a change in audience attitudes toward the troubled state of American life today.
Last week on PBS, it was an "American Masters" biography of J.D. Salinger, and it drove the late...