Ben, I don't mean to suggest that Julia only documented this story on film to further her career or achieve her fifteen minutes of fame. In my post, I wrote and tried to make it clear that Julia's goal, first and foremost, is to reconnect with her brother. But the question I'm still asking is: why film it?
You do cite her film studies background, and that does provide a clearer answer. And I admit that there's something to admire about Julia for putting herself out there. I could keep this back-and-forth going, but I have nothing against her and would never want to make it seem like I'm attacking her for making this film. I just wasn't impressed with her documentary, and I tried to lay out the specific reasons for why I felt that way.
And yes, almost everything an author writes is personal to him or her, but I just prefer the fictional stories that are based on those personal experiences (e.g. To Kill a Mockingbird). I have no interest in reading memoirs. We can decipher good fiction from bad fiction, but how do we judge something so personal like a documentary or a memoir? There's almost no way to critique it without sounding like an asshole.
And my comments on reality television were just an attempt to vent frustration on the direction of society as a whole. I would never say that Julia's story is comparable to what you would find on The Bachelor or Undercover Boss. But what they do have in common is the need of the people involved in those respective projects to be seen by a larger audience (how do you like my blog, everyone?) And I hate to sound like a curmudgeon (that's not true), but I'm completely exhausted by the youtube generation (except for rickrolling...never gets old). Sure, I want the site to exist (fuck you, Lamar Smith!), but most of the videos on that site are unnecessary and/or are dumbing down our culture.
Moving on, I forgot that I wanted to comment on Jeff's Oscar thoughts. I'm happy to see that the Academy took my threats over The Tree of Life seriously. What a surprise that was...and the best director nom for Malick, too. Wha? But whatever credibility the Academy regained with that pick, they lost it with the Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close nom. But perhaps I should do some research; if all of the profits from the film are going to 9/11 families, I'll get off its back.