The History of Documentary Film 2

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
303DDF2 ZK 3 4T Czech summer

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Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

Study results:

Mode of study

Lecture supplemented by screening of examples or entire films.

Prerequisites and co-requisites


Course contents

Course description:

Fundamental study lecture and film screening. During lecture students adopt the most fundamental historiographic line of the development of Czech and World documentary film and view the most essential samples or entire films which represent them.

Topic scope:

  1. Post-war constitution documentary in the context of artistic cinematography - Czechoslovak examples and contexts.
  2. Focus on Free Cinema
  3. New York school and Lionel Rogosin
  4. Focus on France and Cinema Verite (and links to the Canadian Candid Eye movement).
  5. Focus on the USA and Direct Cinema 0 constitution of a documentary in connection to the television institutional environment.
  6. Grierson's reference and its development in Canada in the 1950s and 60s - examples and institutional practices and frameworks.
  7. Czechoslovak 1960s and documentary I.
  8. Czechosolvak 1960s and documentary II.
  9. Czechoslovakia and normalization up to the 1980s - examples, topics and strategies, and potential autonomous creations.
  10. Czechoslovakia and normalization up to the 1980s - examples, topics and strategies of pro-regime creations.

11. 1970s and 80s and the constitution of documentary as an artistic domain in reaction to the devleopment of television - examples from the USA, Europe and Eastern Block.

  1. The 1990s in Czechoslovak and Czech documentaries; changes in institution environments in the wider context of Europe and comparison to the USA.

Recommended or required reading

Antonín Navrátil: Cesty k pravdě a lži (ČFÚ Praha 1968, Nakladatelství AMU 2002) - ad historie českého dokumentu do konce 60. let

Eric Barnow: History of Non-fiction Film - ad historie světového dokumentu do konce 80. let

Antonín Navrátil: Dziga Vertov (ČFÚ) - ad počátky jednoho z klíčových proudů reinterpretace reality

Jean Epstein: Poetika obrazů (Herrmann a synové Praha 1998) - ad počátky jednoho z klíčových proudů reinterpretace reality

Guy Gautier: Dokumentární film - jiná kinematografie, Nakladatelství AMU a Ji hlava 2004 - ad historie dokumentu západní provenience a dalších okruhů, teorie]

Monographs devoted to the works of filmmakers (found in the library under „Documentary Film“ in the subject catalog).

Also magazine articles.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final test includes an oral exam. Knowledge of the historical-contextual facts, audience experience and ability of contextual interpretation of viewed films. Absence of empirical/audience experience of key films may lead to repeating the text. For this reason emphasis on attendance in class of minimum 70% is required.


This course is scheduled once every two years. It is registered for the 2019-2020 school year.

Further information

This course is an elective for all AMU students

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

room 217
Room No. 217

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Wed 14:50–18:05 Vít JANEČEK Room No. 217
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

The subject is a part of the following study plans