Documentary Film Analysis

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Almost 115 years after the first film was screened by Lumier Brothers in 1895, we witness tremendous changes not only in the production and dissemination but also in the aesthetics, semiotics and styles of this unique art form.
One of the greatest contributions of science in the second half of the 20th century is, undoubtedly, Information Technology which eventually paved the way for the evolution of a unique discipline called Information and Communication Technology. Popularly known as ICT, the new branch revolutionized all spheres of human life; and mass communication is no exception. As film is a medium of mass communication, any development related to ICT has always had an influence, whether direct or indirect, on film making. A revolution
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History witnesses how the introduction of portable camcorders which could simultaneously capture image and sound gave an impetus to documentary film making in the process of recording the social-historical world by attracting a whole generation of young film makers. The way documentary filmmaking made use of digital technologies has immensely transformed the documentary culture itself. A notable area of this influence is in the transformation of the very materiality of documentary text as it can be stored in the binary space and retrieved from there to manipulate, besides disseminating through a variety of means. Conventional documentary modes of representation have already been undergone changes in new directions through digital modes of image capturing and post production. The digital intervention has undoubtedly changed the nature of documentary practices, aesthetics and forms of representation. As a result, the approach of documentary to the socio-historical world has changed considerably, which in turn, has challenged the conventional documentary theory. In the backdrop of the digital transformation of Bill Nichol’s definition of documentary (Nichols 1991), the way in which the documentary culture has undergone fundamental shifts has been the focus of several studies conducted during the last decade. “While studying the impact of the digital, it is helpful to distinguish between the continuities of cultural forms and discourses and their divergence across various media platforms. It is not just a simple shift in technologies but a wider framework of ‘continuities and transformation” 4(Lister 2000: 322). In the field of digital documentaries, Craig Hight explains two broad dynamics in action. “First there is the integration of digital technologies within conventional documentary practice. The second, the appropriation by digital platforms of aspects of
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