The introduction describes the book as a set of essays based on the author’s practice in ethnographic and documentary filmmaking. The essays attempt to close the gap between the experiences of the filmmaker and the film viewer, moving from personal observations to more theoretical essays on film construction and reception, and finally to the role of documentary film in anthropology and public discourse. Two key themes of the book are the relations between filmmaker and film subject and between filmmaker and viewer, in particular with regard to how much access the viewer is given to the realities of the filmmaking process– a major concern of the new documentary cinema of the 1960s. Another concern of the book is the power of film to evoke physical sensations, an important element in recent ethnographic filmmaking. However, the author cautions that this power should not simply become one more method of manipulating the viewer.
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