Documentary and history on film

Winston, Brian (2006) Documentary and history on film. History Today, 56 (1). pp. 29-33. ISSN 0018-2753

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

This article looks at some of the ways history has been presented on screen as documentary and/or drama, focusing on the use of historical archive footage. The pioneers in this field - John Grierson in the UK, Esfir Schub in the Soviet Union - were aware that using this material in ways not intended by its makers was a creative act raising ethical questions. Such questions are as relevant and more complex in relation to the disguises inherent in later newsreel compilations that often adopt a supposedly "objective", neutral tone. When no contemporary film is available, dramatic reconstruction, historians' "authored accounts" and various other means have been used to present the past, but always, it is suggested here, less successfully. Archive film has unique qualities as a historical source. (Quotes from original text)

Keywords:Cinema, Documentary film, Historiography, Newsreels, Esfir Schub, John Grierson
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:13783
Deposited On:11 Apr 2014 09:39

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