Documentary: Its Art & History
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Level: Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Media Studies
Course Number: NDOC 5100
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Media Studies
  • Documentary Filmmaking
  • Film & Video History, Theory & Criticism
The documentary is arguably the most challenging and influential form of film and video. It touches, informs, and sometimes outrages millions of viewers seeking facts and insights in a complex world. The historical introduction to the genre begins with the earliest actuality films of the Lumiere brothers and ends with the latest postmodern explorations of film truth. The course examines how changing technology, shifting social and political realities, and the personalities and talents of influential individuals have continually re-defined what documentary means. Ethical as well as aesthetic issues are considered. Weekly screenings are of classics by Vertov, Flaherty, Grierson, Riefenstahl, Rouch, Wiseman, Trinh, Morris, and others.
Course Open to: Majors Only
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Course open only to Documentary Studies Certificate students


Open to Graduate students.


Open to Documentary Media Studies students.