Documentary

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1/ In his piece “Civic Visions: Forms of Documentary,” John Corner seeks to give the documentary genre more agency by describing it as ideally an “intervention…in the public arena rather than as [a] commentary upon (mostly predefined) issues.” Please pick a TV documentary, watch and analyze it, discussing the ways in which it might aspire to be an intervention rather than just a commentary. In other words, what does the viewer learn having watched this documentary? Are the makers of this piece setting out to change something in the viewer in addition to reporting something to the viewer? If so, what? Make sure you consider both the content and the form – i.e. not just what is said and depicted, but also how. In your analysis, please also address the ways in which the fact that this is a televisual rather than a filmic documentary influences the content of the piece. Please use at least one outside scholarly source to help you with your argument.

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