Specific topics to choose from (CHOOSE ONLY ONE)

(1) Proponents of 1960s direct cinema insist that the filmmaker must absent herself or himself from what s/he is filming. This refusal to intervene in events, performances, etc. is in turn meant to give unimpeded access to the filmsa various moments of insight and truth. To what degree is this position tenable? Were direct cinema documentarians in fact more flexible on this matter than their theoretical pronouncements would suggest? Please write an essay on one or two works of direct cinema NOT screened in this class and address these questions.

(2) Like John Grierson and his British filmmaking cohort, several American documentarians in the 1930s (Pare Lorentz, for instance) explicitly aligned their work with the interests of the State and nation. Please write an essay on this politically committed moment in American documentary film history and two or three of its key films and filmmakers.

(3) Like many contemporary documentaries, Errol Morrisas The Thin Blue Line (1987) is suspicious about the mediumas supposed unhindered access to truth. Instead, Morrisas film offers provisional truths, multiple perspectives on events, and interview subjects whose self-interest compels them to sidestep the truth at several instances. Please write an essay on a film or group of films (NOT screened in this class) that approach the truth in this manner.

Essay must include a Bibliography
Essay must be written in 12 point Times New Roman font and its margins should be set at 1″
Essay must be double spaced