Documentary film

A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record. Such films were originally shot on film stock—the only medium available—but now include video and digital productions that can be either direct-to-video, made into a TV show or released for screening in cinemas. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries.

Defining documentary

In popular myth, the word documentary was coined by Scottish documentarian John Grierson in his review of Robert Flaherty's film Moana (1926), published in the New York Sun on 8 February 1926, written by "The Moviegoer" (a pen name for Grierson).

Grierson's principles of documentary were that cinema's potential for observing life could be exploited in a new art form; that the "original" actor and "original" scene are better guides than their fiction counterparts to interpreting the modern world; and that materials "thus taken from the raw" can be more real than the acted article. In this regard, Grierson's definition of documentary as "creative treatment of actuality" has gained some acceptance, with this position at variance with Soviet film-maker Dziga Vertov's provocation to present "life as it is" (that is, life filmed surreptitiously) and "life caught unawares" (life provoked or surprised by the camera).

Latest News for: Political documentaries


Review: The art, rage and action of Nan Goldin in ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’

The Los Angeles Times 02 Dec 2022
Goldin’s descriptions of Bowery scrappiness, nocturnal multi-tasking, and underground socializing bring that street-romantic bohemia alive, as do remembrances of friends such as actress/writer Cookie Mueller (where’s her documentary?), the political awakening from her time ......

Portrait of artist and activism in ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’

The Los Angeles Times 02 Dec 2022
Directed by Laura Poitras, “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” is both something unexpected from the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker and something completely in line with her other work ... … Poitras hasn’t embraced the usual journalistic norms in directing this documentary ... Richard Davis in the documentary2nd Chance.”....

NSU office supports diverse student groups

Tahlequah Daily Press 02 Dec 2022
... art and community on all campuses; working with Fire in Little Africa to screen the documentary; and community dinners," she said. Outside of that, Rhone is working to bring local and national political and nonprofit leaders to speak to NSU campus and surrounding communities....

‘Died Suddenly’ Pushes Bogus Depopulation Theory

Houston Forward Times 02 Dec 2022
Misinformation masquerading as documentary has been a fixture of the COVID-19 pandemic — from the “Plandemic” videos that suggested “the scientific and political elite” planned the pandemic to the Stew Peters video claiming that the disease was caused by snake venom secretly ......

Jordan Peterson denounces Kanye West's antisemitism

The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov 2022
Recent Kanye West controversies. West appeared on Tim Pool's YouTube show with his political advisers far-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos and white nationalist Nick Fuentes ... Peterson has responded to the criticism by saying that “There was nothing particularly political about our activities ... An upcoming documentary about the Holy City.”. ....

In Brazil, Marielle Franco’s memory inspires the Black, feminist, LGBTQ+ cause against the extreme right

Michigan Live 30 Nov 2022
“She represents that place of hope, of political renovation, but above all, that place of resilience ... Témoris Grecko is an award-winning Mexican journalist, documentary maker and political analyst who has covered armed conflicts around the world and has published seven non-fiction books, including “Killing The Story” in the U.S....

Athens Short Film Festival launches this week

Greek City Times 30 Nov 2022
Aiming to promote independent cinema and at the same time serve as an open platform of expression for emerging Greek and international artists, the Athens Short Film Festival presents both fiction and documentary films ... This film is an experimental documentary exploring the director's memories of Astoria before and during the coronavirus....

HBO to air Nancy Pelosi documentary shot by daughter Alexandra

The Virginian-Pilot 29 Nov 2022
LOS ANGELES — A documentary on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s life and groundbreaking political career, shot and edited by her daughter, will debut on HBO next month ... She’s specialized in political documentaries, earning four Emmy nominations for her 2002 filmJourneys with George” about George W....

AM Prep-Segue

McAlester News-Capital 29 Nov 2022
That actually did Grammer a favor ... LOS ANGELES (AP) - HBO will run a documentary next month about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that was shot by her daughter, filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi ... HBO says the documentary uses footage shot over three decades ... Alexandra Pelosi has made other political documentaries, including “Journeys with George,” about George W....

Nancy Pelosi’s political rise to be featured in HBO documentary: Pelosi in the House

Colorado Springs Gazette 29 Nov 2022
The life and political career of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will be featured in a documentary .......

‘The Corridors of Power’: A devastating look at genocide and inaction

The Washington Post 29 Nov 2022
Dror Moreh’s lastest documentary examines the often disheartening political calculus that goes into decisions about how to respond to violence ... ....

LGBTQ streaming: What to watch in December

Metro USA 29 Nov 2022
Queer Genius” is a galvanizing documentary that profiles five queer female artists ... Rounding out the documentary is a portrait of lesbian poetess Eileen Myles, who has achieved considerable fame in her career. She is seen reading her work and discussing her life, her sobriety, and her political attitudes....

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