The Documentary Explosion

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Reality TV is often written off as fluff, but recently alongside Survivor and Big Brother, we’ve seen trans-gendered men living in the backwoods of Georgia, Mexican immigrants planning their American wedding, and an unvarnished portrait of the militant anti-abortion movement.

This is the stuff of documentary films. Documentaries used to be relegated to public television’s insomnia hour, no more. HBO’s decision in March to move its series “America Undercover” to the coveted post-Soprano Sunday slot signaled that documentaries are moving beyond the black turtleneck cappuccino crowd. While their popularity grows, new technologies are doing for film, what the word processor did for the novel. Suddenly, for better or worse, everybody’s a director.
(Hosted by Dick Gordon)


Sheila Nevins, Vice President of Original Programming, HBO

Ross McElwee, Visiting Filmmaker, Harvard University

and Kate Davis, filmmaker.