David MacDougall
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How the visual makes sense
in The art of the observer
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In ethnographic filmmaking, visual images, both singly and in combination, make sense in a variety of ways through their uses in description, analysis, interpretation and explanation. These uses rely on the ability of the filmmaker to guide the viewer’s understanding and the viewer’s ability to read the filmmaker’s intentions. This chapter uses an example from the author’s Tempus de Baristas (1993), a film on the life of shepherds in Sardinia, to examine the methods and ramifications of filming a single scene in an ethnographic film.

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The art of the observer

A personal view of documentary

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