In essays by eleven of America's foremost writers, critics, and filmmakers, Beyond Document explores the full spectrum of nonfiction film and its creative possibilities. In addition to Charles Warren's broad introductory history of the genre, the book takes a close look at ethnographic films, cinema-verite, memoir and autobiography, docudramas, essay films, and newsreels, from classics like Night and Fog and Nanook of the North to more recent important work like Film about a Woman Who. . ., Harlan County, U.S.A., Sans Soleil, and Forest of Bliss.
Representations of reality are increasingly contested, in courtrooms and in Congress, as well as in art. Asking what the art of film can achieve, Helene Keyssar considers the history of nonfiction films by women; Jay Cantor discusses film investigations of the Holocaust; Patricia Hampl looks at how autobiographical films render experience into narrative; Robert Gardner questions the filmmaker's "impulse to preserve"; and poet Susan Howe explores structures of mourning in several filmmakers. All the book's essays provide deeply felt understanding of documentary film, and of how we live with, an d within, images.
CONTRIBUTORS: Jay Cantor, Robert Gardener, Patricia Hampl, Maureen Howard, Susan Howe, Helene Keyssar, Phillip Lopatte, Vlada Petric, William Rothman, Charles Warren, Eliot Weinberger.