UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2017

128 | CCN: 46884

Documentary Film

Alina Predescu

4 Units

This class will provide a history of documentary film, and in so doing engage with the theory and practice of documentary filmmaking. We shall consider the auteurs, ethics, genres, and technologies of this film form, from its origins to today. Recurring themes and considerations will include authority, immersion, objectivity, surveillance, and travel. We will watch documentaries that are experimental, exploitative, longitudinal, phony, scientific—and frankly bizarre. Our work in the class will mirror the object of study: we shall study the essay-film, as well as write essays about film; we shall screen the history of the documentary, and practice writing documentary history.

Screenings may include films from Apted, Flaherty, Herzog, Morris, Painlevé, Varda, Vertov, Welles, and Wiseman.