This volume offers a new and expanded history of the documentary form across a range of times and contexts, featuring original essays by leading historians in the field
In a contemporary media culture suffused with competing truth claims, documentary media have become one of the most significant means through which we think in depth about the past. The most rigorous collection of essays on nonfiction film and media history and historiography currently available, A Companion to Documentary Film History offers an in-depth, global examination of central historical issues and approaches in documentary, and of documentary's engagement with historical and contemporary topics, debates, and themes.
The Companion's twenty original essays by prominent nonfiction film and media historians challenge prevalent conceptions of what documentary is and was, and explore its growth, development, and function over time. The authors provide fresh insights on the mode's reception, geographies, authorship, multimedia contexts, and movements, and address documentary's many aesthetic, industrial, historiographical, and social dimensions. This authoritative volume:
•Offers both historical specificity and conceptual flexibility in approaching nonfiction and documentary media
•Explores documentary's multiple, complex geographic and geopolitical frameworks
•Covers a diversity of national and historical contexts, including Revolution-era Soviet Union, post-World War Two Canada and Europe, and contemporary China
•Establishes new connections and interpretive contexts for key individual films and film movements, using new primary sources
•Interrogates established assumptions about documentary authorship, audiences, and documentary's historical connection to other media practices.
A Companion to Documentary Film History is an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses covering documentary or nonfiction film and media, an excellent supplement for courses on national or regional media histories, and an important new resource for all film and media studies scholars, particularly those in nonfiction media.