Grierson and the British Documentary Tradition



1.  Grierson and British documentary


--Grierson's vision of documentary-

"creative treatment of actuality"--propaganda in the public interest

--basic concerns, ideas:  work; the value of the everyday; documentary and the “hangover” effect

--Grierson vs. Flaherty




2.  Grierson (see Ellis, Chapt. 5)






--compared to Flaherty—evidence in the films we’ve screened?


artist vs. propagandist

storyteller vs. rhetorician

explorer vs. teacher

man and nature vs. social relations


Some of  Nichols's initial key concepts:


documentary vs. fiction

--"a world" VS. "the world"

--fiction has a metaphoric relationship to the real


--documentary and the indexical sign


--documentary as argument—what is the difference between presenting “facts” and presenting “arguments?”


claim(s)--what are we to believe?  Accept?


Validity (connection between the claims and the evidence)