Engrossing but difficult to watch: “Man in Cave” documentary on caver Floyd Collins

I’m conflicted. This is a very well done animated documentary, creating visuals that were not part of the original press coverage of Floyd Collins, the caver trapped in Sand Cave in 1925, and the subject of the first media circus, fed by the emerging new medium of radio journalism.

The animation adds sight gags and sometimes crude humor, which is juvenile and not particularly funny. This story happened to real people, and I’m uncomfortable their suffering has been turned into entertainment. Yet here I am, watching. (That’s part of the discomfort I feel.)

Even though I know how this story ends, I feel like I’m learning quite a bit, and the animation makes the story just gripping. I will of course have to read up more on the real event, so that I can separate what I think I’ve learned from an animation from the facts as a more neutral, credible source would present them.

I’ve had to pause it three or four times because I’m so stressed, and the crude humor irks me; but I keep coming back to it.