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Werner Herzog — director of such documentaries as “Grizzly Man” and “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” — was accused of making up a scene about radioactive water creating albino alligators in his new 3-D documentary “Cave of Forgotten Dreams.”When called on it, Mr. Herzog’s publicist said the director seeks after “ecstatic truth,” rather than the mere “accountant’s truth” of rerecording the world.

Mr. Spurlock made a similar distinction.

“The biggest thing for me is to make films that are honest and truthful, not misleading,” said Mr. Spurlock, whose new documentary, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” debuts at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 22.

“Being a documentary filmmaker is telling the truth and enlightening people to truths of the world we didn’t have access to before.”