October 12 , 2010



Dave Saunders’ spirited introduction to documentary covers its history, cultural context and development, and the approaches, controversies and functions pertaining to non-fiction filmmaking. Saunders examines the many methods by which documentary conveys meaning, whilst exploring its differing societal purposes.

After a historical consideration of international documentary production, the author examines the impact of recent technological developments on the production, distribution and viewing of non-fiction. In addition, he explores the increasingly hazy distinctions between factual and dramatic formats, discussing ‘reality television’, the ‘docu-drama’, and less orthodox approaches including animated and fantastical representations of reality.

Documentary encompasses a broad range of academic discourse around non-fiction filmmaking, introducing readers to the key filmmakers, major scholars, central debates and critical ideas relating to the form. This wide-ranging guidebook features global releases from the 1920s through to 2009, and includes films such as:

  • Nanook of the North (1922)
  • The Man with the Movie Camera (1929)
  • Night Mail (1936)
  • Night and Fog (1955)
  • Primary (1960)
  • Roger and Me (1989)
  • Tarnation (2003)
  • My Winnipeg (2006)
  • Sicko (2007)
  • Waltz With Bashir (2008)
  • Say My Name (2009)
  • Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2009)
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