The Documentary Film Book

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-10-18
  • Publisher: British Film Inst

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Powerfully posing questions of ethics, ideology, authorship and form, documentary film has never been more popular than it is today. Edited by one of the leading British authorities in the field, The Documentary Film Book is an essential guide to current thinking on documentary film.

In a series of fascinating essays, key international experts discuss the theory of documentary, outline current understandings of its history (from pre-Flaherty to the post-Griersonian world of digital 'i-Docs'), survey documentary production (from Africa to Europe, and from the Americas to Asia), consider documentaries by marginalised minority communities, and assess its contribution to other disciplines and arts. Brought together here in one volume, these scholars offer compelling evidence as to why, over the last few decades, documentary has come to the centre of screen studies.

Author Biography

Brian Winston is Lincoln Chair of Communications at the University of Lincoln, UK. He has an Emmy for documentary script-writing, has taught documentary in both the US and the UK, and has been involved with many international documentary film festivals and the Visible Evidence conference series. He is the author of Media, Technology and Society: A History, from the Telegraph to the Internet, Fires Were Started, Lies, Damn Lies and Documentaries, and Messages: Free Expression, Media and the West, from Gutenberg to Google.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Foreword: Why Documentaries Matter NICK FRASER
Introduction: The Filmed Documentary BRIAN WINSTON

Part I: Documentary Values
1.1 The Question of Evidence, the Power of Rhetoric and Documentary Film; Bill Nichols
1.2 'I'll Believe It When I Trust the Source': Documentary Images and Visual Evidence; Carl Plantinga
1.3 'The Performance Documentary': The Performing Film-Maker, the Acting Subject; Stella Bruzzi
1.4 On Truth, Objectivity and Partisanship: The Case of Michael Moore; Douglas Kellner
1.5 CGI and the End of Photography as Evidence; Taylor Downing
1.6 Drawn From Life: The Animated Documentary; Andy Glynne
1.7 Dramadoc? Docudrama? The Limits and Protocols of a Televisual Form; Derek Paget
1.8 Ambiguous Audiences; Annette Hill
1.9 Life As Narrativised; Brian Winston
1.10 The Dance of Documentary Ethics; Pratap Rughani
1.11 Deaths, Transfigurations and the Future; John Corner

Part II: Documentary Paradigms
2.1 Problems in Historiography: The Documentary Tradition Before Nanook of the North; Charles Musser
2.2 John Grierson and the Documentary Film Movement; Ian Aitken
2.3 Challenges For Change: Canada's National Film Board; Thomas Waugh and Ezra Winton
2.4 Grierson's Legacies: Australia and New Zealand; Deane Williams
2.5 New Deal Documentary and the North Atlantic Welfare State; Zoe Druick and Jonathan Kahana
2.6 The Triumph of Observationalism: Direct Cinema in the USA; Dave Saunders
2.7 Russian and Soviet Documentary: From Vertov to Sokurov; Ian Christie
2.8 The Radical Tradition in Documentary Film-making, 1920s–50s; Bert Hogenkamp
2.9 Le Groupe des trente: The Poetic Tradition; Elena Von Kassel Siambani
2.10 Cinéma Vérité: Vertov Revisited; Genevieve Van Cauwenberge
2.11 Beyond Sobriety: Documentary Diversions; Craig Hight

Part III: Documentary Horizons
3.1 Eastwards; Abe Mark Nornes
3.2 Africa N.; Frank Ukadike
3.3 Images From the South: Contemporary Documentary in Argentina and Brazil; Ana Amado and Maria Dora Mourao
3.4 'Roadblock' Films, 'Children's Resistance' Films and 'Blood Relations' Films: Israeli and Palestinian Documentary Post-Intifada; Il Raya Morag
3.5 Sacred, Mundane and Absurd Revelations of the Everyday – Poetic Vérité in the Eastern European Tradition; Susanna Helke

Part IV: Documentary Voices
4.1 First-Person Political; Alisa Lebow
4.2 Feminist Documentaries: Finding, Seeing and Using Them; Julia Lesage
4.3 Pioneers of Black Documentary Film; Pearl Bowser
4.4 LGTBs' Documentary Identity; Christopher Pullen
4.5 Docusoaps: The Ordinary Voice as Popular Entertainment; Richard Kilborn
4.6 Reality TV: A Sign of the Times?; Anita Biressi and Heather Nunn

Part V: Documentary Disciplines
5.1 Anthropology: The Evolution of Ethnographic Film; Paul Henley
5.2 Science, Society and Documentary; Tim Boon
5.3 History Documentaries for Television; Ann Gray
5.4 Music, Documentary, Music Documentary; Michael Chanan
5.5 Art, Documentary as Art; Michael Renov

Part VI: Documentary Futures
6.1 Documentary as Open Space; Helen de Michiel and Patricia R. Zimmermann
6.2 'This Great Mapping of Ourselves': New Documentary Forms Online; John Dovey and Mandy Rose
6.3 New Platforms for 'Docmedia': 'Varient of a Manifesto'; Peter Wintonick

Afterword: The Unchanging Question; Brian Winston

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