The Art of the Observer: A Personal View of Documentary (Paperback)

Before placing an order, please note:

  • You'll receive a confirmation email once your order is complete and ready for pickup. 
  • If you place a pre-order in the same order as currently available titles, an additional shipping fee will be added to your order. 
  • Women & Children First is not responsible for lost or stolen packages.
The Art of the Observer: A Personal View of Documentary By David MacDougall Cover Image
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now


The art of the observer is a personal guide to documentary filmmaking, based on the author's years of pioneering work in the fields of ethnographic and documentary cinema. It stands in sharp contrast to books of academic film criticism and handbooks on visual research methods, being based extensively on concrete examples from the author's own filmmaking experience. The book places particular emphasis on observational filmmaking and the ways in which this approach is distinct from other forms of documentary. It offers both practical insights and reflections on what it means, in both emotional and intellectual terms, to attempt to represent the lives of others. The book makes clear that documentary cinema is not simply a matter of recording reality, but of artfully organising the filmmaker's observations in ways that reveal the complex patterns of social life.

About the Author

David MacDougall is Honorary Professor in the Research School of Humanities and the Arts at the Australian National University, Canberra
Product Details
ISBN: 9781526165350
ISBN-10: 152616535X
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English