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F22 Film Theory: Experimental Ethnographic and Documentary Films


Course Information


This eight-week evening course, lead by Anthropologist Barbara Knorpp, provides opportunities to watch and discuss classic and experimental ethnographic and documentary films in order to critically engage with the politics of image making.

Course Code


Course Dates

20th November 2017 – 22nd January 2018

Places Available

Course Leader

Barbara Knorpp
Course Description

Starting from silent cinema of Robert Flaherty and use of montage of Russian filmmakers in the 1920s to visual video diaries in New York by Jonas Mekas, French cinéma vérité and indigenous filmmaking in Brazil, the course will give a historic overview on how the genre of ethnographic film has changed from seemingly scientific accounts to staged authenticity, fiction films and from experimental modes to collage, made out of found footage.

Below is an indication of what topics and films will be covered over the eight sessions:

  • Silent cinema and early ethnographic film
  • Peoples without Land: Pastoral Nomads in East Africa
  • Jean Rouch and Cinéma Vérité
  • Slow Cinema
  • USA - Observational Mode and Visual Diaries
  • Visual Anthropology and the City
  • Experimental Cinema and the Essay Film
  • Participatory Video Making

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