Documentary film, observational style and postmodern anthropology in Sardinia: a visual anthropology


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Carta, Silvio (2012). Documentary film, observational style and postmodern anthropology in Sardinia: a visual anthropology. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study explores issues of technique, methodology and style in ethnographic/documentary films, with a focus on Sardinia. How are cultural realities constructed in documentary and ethnographic films? In what ways do practical filmmaking strategies reflect wider epistemological questions and ethical concerns? The thesis examines the general stylistic principles that have guided the making of a substantial body of documentary films about Sardinia. Attention has been paid to a range of different methods used by a select number of documentary and ethnographic filmmakers, covering important theoretical points on the distinctive set of technical, aesthetic and ethical problems embodied in the epistemology of their filmmaking practice.

The study concludes that scholars should look for a more balanced fusion between film as a multisensory medium of ideas and forms of ethnographic enquiry conducted through language. The nonverbal elements and visual imagery in ethnographic/documentary films suggest obliquely that a kind of knowledge expressed in the concrete case requires an acknowledgment of domains of experience that often elude written expression.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures


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