Postgraduate Courses

FAM4039F Documentary Film: Forms and Theories

NQF credits: 24 at HEQSF level 8.

Course conveners

Dr Julia Cain and Dr Ian Rijsdijk

Entrance requirements

Acceptance for an Honours programme.

Course outline

Documentary Film:  Forms and Theories examines histories and innovations in documentary film, from early ethnographic work to contemporary experimentations with form with specific focus on South African films and filmmakers.  You will develop an understanding of the various forms of documentary and its innovative possibilities; you will develop a knowledge of histories of documentary (not just the canon of documentary from Flaherty to Moore); and you will have a good grasp of documentary film in the South African context.

DP requirements

Attendance at all classes; punctual submission of written work.


Seminar paper and presentation (30%); seminar respondent (10%); seminar preparation, participation and attendance (10%); 5 000- word essay (50%)