1st Edition

Contemporary Documentary

ISBN 9781138849549
Published October 16, 2015 by Routledge
228 Pages

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Contemporary Documentary offers a rich survey of the rapidly expanding landscape of documentary film, television, video, and new media. The collection of original essays addresses the emerging forms, popular genres, and innovative approaches of the digital era.

The anthology highlights geographically and thematically diverse examples of documentaries that have expanded the scope and impact of non-fiction cinema and captured the attention of global audiences over the past three decades. It also explores the experience of documentary today, with its changing dynamics of production, collaboration, distribution, and exhibition, and its renewed political and cultural relevance.

The twelve chapters - featuring engaging case studies and written from a wide range of perspectives including film theory, social theory, ethics, new media, and experience design - invite students to think critically about documentary as a vibrant field, unrestricted in its imagination and quick in its response to new forms of filmmaking.

Offering a methodical exploration of the expansive reach of documentary as a creative force in the media and society of the twenty-first century, Contemporary Documentary is an ideal collection for students of film, media, and communication who are studying documentary film.

Table of Contents

Foreword Bill Nichols Introduction: Situating Contemporary Documentary Selmin Kara and Daniel Marcus PART I: FORMS, GENRES, INNOVATIONS 1. Lying to Be Real: The Aesthetics of Ambiguity in Docufictions Ohad Landesman 2. The Mockumentary Craig Hight 3. Animated Documentary Annabelle Honess Roe 4. Producing the Crowdsourced Documentary: The Implications of Storytelling and Technology Heather McIntosh 5. Designed Experience in Interactive Documentaries Siobhan O’Flynn 6. Indigenous Documentary Media Pamela Wilson PART II: DOCUMENTARY IN NEW CONTEXTS 7. True Life: The Voice of Television Documentary Laurie Ouellette 8. Interrogating the Media: Errol Morris in the Information Age Kris Fallon 9. Documentary and the Survival of the Film Auteur: Agnès Varda, Werner Herzog, and Spike Lee Helen Hughes 10. The Ethics of Appropriation: "Misusing" the Found Document in Suitcase of Love and Shame and A Film Unfinished Jaimie Baron 11. Documentary, Multi-Platform Production, and Cosmopolitan Dialogues Ib Bondebjerg 12.Documentary and Video Activism Daniel Marcus

View More



Daniel Marcus teaches media and documentary studies at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the author of Happy Days and Wonder Years: The Fifties and the Sixties in Contemporary Cultural Politics, and editor of ROAR! The Paper Tiger Television Guide to Media Activism.

Selmin Kara is an Assistant Professor at OCAD University. She is interested in digital aesthetics and sound in post-cinema and documentary. Her work has appeared in Studies in Documentary Film, The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media, and Music and Sound in Nonfiction Film.


"The expanded, inter-generic spaces of 'documentary' encompass a diverse aesthetics and new modes of viewing and involvement. The contributors here connect with international innovation and future possibilities from a firm base in established scholarship, continuing the renewal of critical thinking that is now required."

John Corner, Professor in Communication Studies, University of Leeds, UK

"A lively blend of emerging scholars and the usual suspects, Contemporary Documentary takes on the long and growing list of sub-genres that will either expand or explode what we have so comfortably referred to as ‘documentary’. The best of its arguments add new depth to cinema’s adventures with reality."Seth Feldman, Professor of Film and Television Studies, York University, Canada

"Bottom line: this should be required reading for those interested in documentary film in all its manifestations. Summing Up: Essential. All readers."

L. M. Anderst, Queensborough Community College - CUNY in CHOICE