Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2019

  • Documentary

    128 | CCN: 31521

    4 Units

    Tu/Th 3:30pm-5:00pm, Dwinelle 142; Screening Tues. 7:00pm-9:00pm, Dwinelle 142 ///

    This course surveys the history, theory and practice of the documentary, aka “non-fiction,” film and video. We will explore this term and examine the ways its forms and ethics have changed since the beginning of cinema. We begin by asking what a document is and what the “documentary voice” of a given film is. In answering this question, we will examine some of the major modes of documentary filmmaking including cinema verité, direct cinema, ethnographic film, documentary reenactment, and the personal essay as well as recent post-modern forms that question relationships between fact and fiction. Through formal analysis, we will examine the “reality effects” of these works focusing on their narrative structures and the ways in which they make meaning. In addition, we explore some of the theoretical questions that constantly surround this most philosophical of film genres: How do these films shape notions of truth, reality and point of view? What are the ethics and politics of representation, and who speaks for whom in a documentary?