Documentary film embodies a wide area of production within its distinguished history. Parallel to developing a documentary film, the aim is to survey documentary film history and theory, doing so from a perspective that accounts for the cinematic art produced within this rich cinematic tradition. Aiming to blend theory and practice, the course supports the following thesis: films are texts that we read, and we should consider even academic writing as taking shape in cinematic form. Here, filmmaking is intellectual as well as creative work. The course should be of interest to both cinema-studies students, and those interested in beginning or continuing a documentary film practice. Advanced students can bring in an already existing project, or develop a new one in the course.
At the conclusion of the course, students will have an understanding of the different modes of representation available to the maker and how they relate to documentary film history. Finally, students will understand how the ‘digital revolution’ has opened up new possibilities.