General Introduction (not only) to Documentary Film

Content of the series

A series of two lessons that try to encourage young audiences actively analyse the screened film clips, to reflect on the “true nature” of what is seen and to critically, and not passively view documentary cinema. Together, we learn how to “read” and better understand it.

Lesson 1: Introduction to the World of Illusions

Screening of docu-fiction + work in groups.


Lesson 2: Origin (not only) of Documentary Cinema

A look back on the history of filmmaking including clips, presentation and a joint effort in searching for answers. The lecturers are Iva Honsová or Šimon Bauer.

General Introduction (not only) to Documentary Film

 * level: 10-14 years of age

 * number of lessons: 2 lessons

 * duration of lesson: 90 or 120 minutes

 * lesson format: lectures with film clips and work in groups   



Course annotation

The first lesson will make use of group work to find and explain the definition of notions such as documentary cinema, reality, objectivity, fiction, authenticity etc. and to challenge the generally adopted concepts. Subsequently, we will discuss six methods used in filmmaking to capture and at the same time to manipulate with reality.


The second lecture will enable us to discuss reality, truth, staging etc. We will then watch and discuss film clips in groups: 
Lumière Brothers – Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (explanation of terms “shot”, cinematograph)
Georges Mélies – A Trip to the Moon (first film studio, tricks, effects and action)
Alan Crosland – The Jazz Singer (first sound dialogues)
Robert Flaherty – Nanook of the North (first documentary fiction, staged events)
Dziga Vertov – The Man with the Movie Camera  (a group of Kinooks, editing manipulation)


Iva Honsová is a coordinator of educational activities of the CDF, a long-term collaborator of the Ji.hlava IDFF and an occasional freelance translator, programme composer and yoga instructor. 


Šimon Bauer, lecturer, film and TV theorist. A graduate of Theory and History of Film and Audiovisual Studies at the Masaryk University in Brno, a long-term collaborator of the Ji.hlava IDFF and since September 2014 the Head of the Center for Documentary Film. He deals primarily with research of the programming strategies of Czechoslovakian Television in its early days and external relationships between Czechoslovakian Television and the state enterprise – Státní film. This topic is also the focus of his article published in anthology Naplánovaná kinematografie (Planned Cinema).

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