American Political Documentaries of the 21st Century

Written by Dimitris Kokkos on . Posted in Projects

Betsy’s current research project is a 6000 word essay on American Political Documentaries of the 21st Century being included in THE ROUTLEDGE COMPANION TO FILM AND POLITICS is large a volume being edited by Claire Molloy (a Professor in Film at Edge Hill University in Liverpool) and Dr. Yannis Tzioumakis (Lecturer in Media and Communication Studies at University of Liverpool).

The Routledge Companion to Film and Politics. The companion will be a major, 40 essay-250,000 word, volume, designed to addess the key debates and issues about the relationship between film and politics, with particular emphasis on contemporary global cinema and new forms of engagement with political questions and concerns (though there are also a couple of sections that are more historical in focus). The volume is structured around 8 sections, with each section consisting of 5 x 6000 word essays. The working titles of the sections are:
1. Critical Approaches to Film and Politics
2. Activism and Opposition
3. Propaganda and Persuasion
4. Migration, Diaspora, Memory and Trauma
5. Hollywood and Politics
6. Alternative cinemas
7. Cine-geographies
8. Documentary

The blurb for the Documentary section in the proposal is as follows:
Section eight (Documentary) continues the international perspective of the previous section exploring different iterations of political documentary. While films at the general entertainment end of the spectrum have been criticised for their political or apolitical stance, documentary has not suffered the same reproach. Indeed, there is a long and complex historical association between politics and documentary filmmaking. Acknowledging this significance, the final section of the collection will be devoted to the relations between documentary and politics in their many forms and guises. A key question that this section will deal with is how documentary manages to negotiate a position between being an agent of social change and a form of entertainment cinema.

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