Over the last twenty years, no film practice has been more dynamic and innovative that documentary cinema, a trend that will be the main focus of the course. We will begin with a broader survey of the history of documentaries since the films of John Grierson and Robert Flaherty in the 1920s and through the evolution of modern documentaries such as cinema vérité, meta-documentaries, and essay films. As part of our investigation we will attend to different cultural movements around the world, as well as the impact of technological changes and industrail shifts. Alongside these practices, we will read various critical and theoretical positions, such as those found in the writings of Dziga Vertov, John Grierson, Jean Rouch, Bill Nichols, and Stella Bruzzi. There are no prerequisites. Requirements will include a seminar presentation and a research essay.