The documentary film has seen many experimental approaches taken to its form, presentation, and technology since its inception as a social change method of persuasion. This chapter examines the seven modes of the documentary as identified by Bill Nichols along with Michael Renov’s four functions of documentary. These frequently examined theories, among others, are examined from a perspective of success in empowering the activist intentions of the social issue documentary. The methods and approaches that have proven to best serve the social change agenda of the documentary film are identified.
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Michael Renov’s four functions of documentary practice are considered the primary purposes of documentary film, but in Chap. 4, we will examine a fifth function provided by Chilean anthropologist, documentary filmmaker, and media scholar, Juan Francisco Salazar: the Anticipatory Mode, specific to ecocinema documentary theory and practice.
The interactive mode was added by Nichols in his Introduction to Documentary (Third Edition) published in 2017.
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Terry, M. (2020). Methods and Approaches to Documentary Influence. In: The Geo-Doc. Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-32508-4_3
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