chapter  1
26 Pages

Reimagining Documentary

ByBroderick Fox

This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book is designed to be critically and conceptually freeing, opening up the possibilities for pleasure, experimentation, and audacity rarely associated with documentary media production. Despite technological advancements expanding the potential forms and functions of documentary, access to the means of media production is certainly not universal, as woefully evidenced by global sites of poverty, censorship, and war. Since the late 1960s, with the fall of various colonial regimes, filmmakers hailing from non-Western cultures have begun to represent themselves and their own cultures with greater frequency. Western filmmakers have similarly turned cameras back onto their own communities and lives, rather than looking elsewhere, a practice that scholar Michael Renov has termed domestic ethnography. There is a misconception by many that to make a documentary, one must travel abroad and turn a camera onto a culture or situation not one's own.