Contemporary historical documentary
DOI link for Contemporary historical documentary
Contemporary historical documentary book
Mainstream documentary theory and practice for decades has been concerned with self-consciousness. Theorists of documentary are well aware of the innate inability of the medium to present ‘truth’: ‘Documentaries are constructs, yet they seek to reveal the real without mediation. Watching a documentary involves holding these two contrary beliefs at once, a process of disavowal which is not terribly unusual in human behaviour, but is inherently unstable.’1 Within the form itself, critics argue, is an acknowledgement that truth is insubstantial.2 It is difficult to square these two claims – that history on television is not complex enough and presents simple truths, or that it is innately self-reflexive and self-conscious and so obviously cannot claim the status of ‘truth’.