Chapter

Introduction

Jeffrey Geiger

in American Documentary Film

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748621477
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670796 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621477.003.0001
Introduction

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The Introduction outlines how the documentary form has been conceived and defined both in academic and popular terms. Exploring ideas of the nation and of national cinema, it further suggests how documentary engages with US national identity and a national imaginary. Documentary, as Vivian Sobchack points out, is a term that designates more than just a cinematic ‘object’; documentary is less a ‘thing’ than an ‘experience’. Understanding documentaries as corollaries of lived experience underlies the book's contention that documentaries have not just reflected but also determined the ways that US identities, values, and goals have been formed, contested, and reinvented over time.

Keywords: nation; truth; reality; social imaginary; identification

Chapter.  7219 words. 

Subjects: Film

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