A quote from a blog posting by Errol Morris in the NYT about using re-enactments in documentary filmmaking, in particular his film The Thin Blue Line, the first Errol Morris film I saw in a theater, with my dad, when it was released in 1988:
Why care about the milkshake? Why does the milkshake matter? Because we assemble our picture of reality from details. We don’t take in reality whole. Our ideas about reality come from bits and pieces of experience. We try to assemble them into something that has a consistent narrative.