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)