Watching the world

Screen documentary and audiences

Thomas Austin
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Screen documentary has experienced a marked rise in visibility and popularity in recent years. What are the reasons for the so-called ‘boom’ in documentaries at the cinema? How has television documentary met the challenge of new formats? And how do audiences engage with documentaries on screen? Watching the world extends the reach of documentary studies by investigating recent instances of screen documentary and the uses made of them by audiences. This book focuses on the interfaces between textual mechanisms, promotional tactics and audiences' viewing strategies. Key topics of inquiry are: film and televisual form, truth claims and issues of trust, the pleasures, politics and ethics of documentary. Case studies include Capturing the Friedmans, Etre et Avoir, Paradise Lost, Touching the Void and wildlife documentaries on television.

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