Planes docentes

Consulta los planes docentes de las asignaturas del Máster Universitario en Estudios de Cine y Culturas Visuales

Plan docente Tendencias del documental contemporáneo
Asignatura: Tendencias del documental contemporáneo
Titulación: Máster Universitario en Estudios de Cine y Culturas Visuales
Profesor: Ana Aitana Fernández Moreno
Curso: Segundo
Semestre: 2
Modalidad: Obligatoria

Is there a new way of approaching the real? How has digital and transmedia transformed the documentary? What themes or movements have emerged in the 2000s? This course explores the ways in which documentary has evolved in this century, and which documentary traditions or resources have persisted or mutated. Students will be able to approach the trends that have marked documentary filmmaking in recent decades. Topics such as subjectivity’s filmmaker, gender awareness, the relevance of personal memory in historical discourse, the impact of socio-economic transformations on the landscape or the development of interactivity and transmedia have been addressed by filmmakers from different continents.


The methodology will be based on lectures -supported by film clips and texts- and class discussion based on the viewing of a documentary or the reading of a text on the theme of the session.

  1. Introduction. New ways to approach reality. Ways of see: Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (Agnès Varda, 2000). Ethics of seeing: Harun Farocki. The aesthetics of postdocumentary: the archive and the borders of fiction.
  2. The filmmaker’s body. Facing the disease. The long holyday (De grote vakantie, Johan Van der Keuken, 2000), And now? Remember me (E Agora? Lembra-me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013). Politic body: The Odds of Recovery (Su Friedrich, 2014).
  3. Minorities and identitary politics. Queer and transgender documentary practices. Paris is burning (Jennie Livinston, 1990), Kiki (Sara Jordenö, 2016), I hate New york (Gustavo Sánchez, 2018). The biopolitics of gender: Señorita extraviada (Lourdes Portillo, 2001), She’s a boy I knew (Gwen Haworth, 2007), Bixa Travesty (Claudia Priscilla, Kiko Goifman, 2018).
  4. “I” cinema, subjectivity and life experience. Tarachime (Naomi Kawase, 2006), Chiri (Naomi Kawase, 2012). In the name of the mother: La deuxième nuit (Eric Pauwels, 2016), Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette, 2003). The subjectivity of Agnès Varda (The Beaches of Agnès, 2008). Rereading family archives: Un’ora sola ti vorrei (Alina Marazzi, 2002). Facing the past: Irène (Alain Cavalier, 2009), Histoire de ma vie racontée par mes photographies (Boris Lehman, 2002).
  5. Postmemory. Trauma and personal memory: Chantal Akerman (Là-bas, 2006, No home movie, 2015), Los Rubios (Albertina Carri, 2003), Rithy Panh: The missing image (2012), Exile (2016). In the name of the father: The image you missed (Donald Foreman, 2018). The filmed testimony: Je m’appelle / je demande la lune (Manuela Morgaine, 2017), Ciro y Yo (Miguel Salazar, 2018).
  6. Found footage and official archives. Subverting official story: Susana de Sousa, Sergei Loznitsa. The past reconstructed: The fog of war (Errol Morris, 2003), El año del descubrimiento (Luis López Carrasco, 2020). Mockumentary: My Mexican Bretzel (Nuria Giménez Lorang, 2019). Resisting oblivion: Yervant Gianikian y Angela Ricci Lucchi.
  7. A perpetrator’s vision. Depicting horror, the re-enactment: The act of killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2010). Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008). Looking into the eyes of the devil: Tierra de nadie (Terrade ninguem, Salomé Lamas, 2013).
  8. The distance between filmmaker and reality. Ethic problems: Viktor Kossakovski (The Belovs, 1992; Svyato, 2005). The filmmaker’s irony to facing the present history with irony: La mafia non è più quella di una volta (Franco Maresco, 2019). Docufiction: La plaga (Neus Ballús, 2013), Mudar la piel (Ana Schulz, Cristóbal Fernández, 2018).
  9. Representing history. Inside the institution: National Gallery (Frederick Wiseman, The war tapes (Deborah Scranton, 2006). Challenging power: Deborah Stratman (O’er the Land, 2008; The Illinois parables, 2016). New observational documentary: from “docusoaps” to reality television.
  10. Representing history. Filmic reconstruction and re-enactments as forms of historical representation: La Commune (Paris, 1871) (Peter Watkins, 2000), Our Defeats (Jean-Gabriel Périot, 2019). Traces of colonialism: Ben Russell’s Let Each One Go Where He May (2009), Árboles (Los hijos, 2013), África 815 (Pilar Monsell, 2014), The Host (Miranda Pennell, 2015).
  11. Ethnographic documentary. The observational style of Wang Bing (West of the tracks, 2002) and Trinh T. Minh-ha’s gender perspective of reality. Commitment to history: Darwin’s nightmare (Hubert Sauper, 2004). Spaces in transformation: En construcción (José Luis Guerin, 2001), El cielo gira (Mercedes Álvarez, 2004), Edificio España (Víctor Moreno, 2012), Urpean Lurra (Maddi Barber, 2019).
  12. The performative documentary. A personal journey: Joaquim Jordà (Monos como Becky, 2003), (Más allá del Espejo, 2006). The docu-memoir from Sarah Polley’s Stories we tell (2013), to Pepe el andaluz (Alejandro Barquero, Concha Barquero, 2015).
  13. Transmedia and Interactive Documentary. Experience and participatory approaches: Immemory (Chris Marker), Universe Within: Digital Lives in the Global Highrise (Katerina Cizek, 2015), Las Sinsombrero (Tània Balló, Serrana Torres, 2015).

The evaluation will consist of class participation (10%) and a final essay (90%) based on a theme, filmmaker or trend seen in class.


Baker, Maxine (2006). Documentary in the Digital Age. Oxford: Elsevier.

Bruzzi, Stella (2006). New Documentary. New York: Routledge.

Chapman, Jane (2009). Issues on Contemporary Documentary. Cambridge: Polity.

Farocki, Harun (2015). Desconfiar de las imágenes. Buenos Aires: Caja Negra.

Nichols, Bill (1997). La representación de la realidad. Barcelona: Paidós.

Rabinowitz, Paula (1994). They Must Be Represented: The Politics of Documentary. London and New York: Verso.

Renov, Michael (1993). Theorizing Documentary. New York: Routledge.

Renov, Michael (2004). The subject of Documentary. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.

Tranche, Rafael R. (Ed.) 2006). De la foto al fotograma. Fotografía y cine documental: dos miradas sobre la realidad. Madrid: Ocho y medio, Ayuntamiento de Madrid.

Vinyes, Marina (2015). Usos i abusos de la imatge en l’univers audiovisual de la Shoah. Girona: Documenta universitaria.