Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2024

  • Documentary Forms

    125 001 | CCN: 33638

    Caleb Christopher Murray-Bozeman

    Location: Dwinelle 142

    Date and Time: TU, TH 3:30pm - 4:59pm

    4 Units

    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, and ethnographic film, and question the relationship between fact and fiction. Through formal analysis, we will examine the “reality effects” that documentaries construct, focusing on their narrative structures and how they make meaning. In addition, we will explore some of the theoretical questions that surround documentary: 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?