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Lecture: We can’t get no satisfaction: unease over the documentary form

You can see a graphic in black and yellow with the words Film Restored.

Thu 22.09.

The festival’s opening lecture will examine the many layers inherent in making, seeing, and preserving what we think of as documentary film – the ethical, political, aesthetic, and technical aspects. Characteristic of the documentary form is the impossibility of definitively disentangling those different layers. The unease manifests, for instance, in the long-standing discourse on concepts such as truth, reality, and document. Nomenclature drawing on the term “non-fiction” – originating as a negation and thus a mere counterpart – testifies to the challenges for academia as well as for archival cataloguing. Instead of despairing at irresolvable documentary issues, this paper recommends emphasizing the nexus – the perpetual ambiguity and complexity – when engaging with documentary material in cinematic, academic, and archival practice. 

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