Narrative versus Interview Endings

The ending of Boycott was more compelling than the ending of Four Little GirlsBoycott ended with a short scene of Martin Luther King Jr. interaction with the city’s youth and stands as a point of comparison. He stands out from them in his suit versus their casual wear. I think this scene draws attention to that although Christian Blacks were seen as the most civilized version of African Americans, Martin Luther King Jr. had to fight through all the pushback that we just watched in the film.  In contrast, the ending of Four Little Girls is just a slideshow over music and feels out of place with the rest of the film. Ultimately, the power of the endings is connected to the type of documentaries that they are.


Boycott was a narrative documentary with actors playing out important events to reframe the historical moment.  On the other hand, Four Little Girls is just a set of complied interviews of a retelling of an event and these girls’ short lives. White the final scene of Boycott ties the film together and reflects on the scenes that came before with a tonal shift, Four Little Girls is jarring. The sudden transition to music snaps the viewer out of the interviews with a barrage of images and no time to process the heavy assault of details they were just given.

3 thoughts on “Narrative versus Interview Endings

  1. Hi Cole, I agree with you in that the end of Four Little Girls is jarring because of the shift from the heavy details to pictures. I remember feeling empty, sad and unsatisfied. And while you could say that the ending probably did exactly what Spike Lee wanted it to do, I still don’t think it did much to help my understanding of the movement as a whole.

  2. I agree with you Cole. I feel that Boycott presents a more clear conclusion that allows the audience to reflect upon it. Additionally, I feel Boycott’s conclusion gives more insight and connections into the present day and core beliefs people can utilize in their daily lives.

  3. Hi Cole, I think you make a great point about how the types of films they are dictate their endings. I didn’t think the ending of Four Little Girls was as effective as Boycott because it wasn’t focused on the whole movement, and that’s largely due to the fact that the personal interview format lent itself better to focusing on the girls and their families. I personally didn’t find the music and images during the credits jarring, but I don’t think it was as effective as the footage of MLK in the 21st century that plays during the beginning of the credits in Boycott.

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