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Center for Curriculum and Transfer Articulation
Documentary Film
Course: HUM212

First Term: 2023 Spring
Lecture   3.0 Credit(s)   3.0 Period(s)   3.0 Load  
Subject Type: Academic
Load Formula: S - Standard Load

Description: Survey of documentary or non-fiction film. Emphasis on the interplay between form, subject, cultural context and filmmaker perspective. Focuses on primary types of documentary film, such as poetic, observational, expository reflexive, participative, and performative. Analyzes what distinguishes documentary film from fiction film.

MCCCD Official Course Competencies
1. Trace the evolution of the documentary historically through various stylistic and theoretical transformations as it adapts to society’s changing ethos to better prepare for a literary presentation. (I)
2. Define the language, techniques, and technical elements of the documentary which it utilizes to convey meaning as part of a critical research enquiry. (II)
3. Recognize how film personnel work together to create a documentary, which begins with one shot united with another, then edited into a series of scenes that become extended sequences, and result in a finished film, which would be analyzed to understand how it conveys its message to its audience. (II, III)
4. Determine how the ideology and perspective of the director influence the documentary’s style, values, and approach to the material to develop thinking and explicative skills. (III)
5. Evaluate a documentary with established standards as to its historical, social, political, and economic significance. (IV)
6. Communicate ideas in objective oral and written presentations based on investigative research techniques, examining, probing, interpreting and critically assessing the material. (IV, V)
7. Refine written and oral reports to achieve mastery of communicative discourse. (IV, V)
MCCCD Official Course Competencies must be coordinated with the content outline so that each major point in the outline serves one or more competencies. MCCCD faculty retains authority in determining the pedagogical approach, methodology, content sequencing, and assessment metrics for student work. Please see individual course syllabi for additional information, including specific course requirements.
MCCCD Official Course Outline
I. Development of the documentary
   A. Historical
      1. Silence
      2. Sound
   B. Styles
      1. Direct cinema
      2. Cinema Verite
   C. Types
      1. Poetic
      2. Observational
      3. Expository
      4. Reflexive
      5. Participative
      6. Performative
   D. Societal ethos
      1. Values
      2. Philosophy
      3. Ethics
      4. Morality
II. Definitions
   A. Close up
   B. Medium shot
   C. Long shot
   D. Long take
   E. Angle
   F. Pan
   G. Crane shot
   H. Composition
   I. Tracking
   J. Hand held
   K. Mise-en-scene
   L. Editing
III. Directors
   A. Individual styles
   B. Innovations
   C. Ideology
      1. Involvement
      2. Non-involvement
IV. Evaluation and criticism
   A. Political
   B. Social
   C. Economic
   D. Historical
V. Communication proficiency
   A. Research
      1. Accessing information
      2. Interpretation
      3. Judgement
   B. Presentation
      1. Written
      2. Oral
MCCCD Governing Board Approval Date: December 14, 2021

All information published is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, but based on the dynamic nature of the curricular process, course and program information is subject to change in order to reflect the most current information available.