Documentary film is cinema's oldest form, dating back to the medium's invention at the turn of twentieth century. From cinema's earliest days, important documentary films and film-makers have emerged continuously and, today, interest in documentary film remains substantial, and is rapidly growing. Standing conferences have been instituted, and new scholarly journals and festivals devoted to the genre are blossoming. Indeed, documentary film culture flourishes, particularly in the developing world and in non-democratic states. China's burgeoning underground documentary film movement, for example, has garnered much critical attention in recent years. Documentary Film is a new title in Routledge's Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies. It meets the need for an authoritative reference work to enable users to navigate and make sense of the subject's large literature and the continuing explosion in research output. Compiled by Ian Aitken (who also edited Routledge's landmark Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film (2006)), this collection brings together in four volumes the foundational and the very best cutting-edge scholarship on documentary film.
Documentary Film includes a full index and comprehensive introductions, newly written by the editor, which place the collected material in its historical and intellectual context. It is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and advanced students as a vital research tool.