This book looks at how independent Indian documentary film reworks the relationship between film-makers, their narratives, their subjects and their audience, challenging the dominant idea of documentary as a discourse of the real. Based on close textual analysis, conversations with film-makers and drawing on Breitrose’s cinéma-vérité film-maker as a ‘fly in the soup’, this work explores the place of documentary within the Indian public sphere.
“This is an extraordinary book. It will set new standards for bringing together place, form and context in cinema studies. It accomplishes what few studies of a modern visual genre even attempt, much less achieve. It reflects the love of the form of the documentary that only those, like the authors, who have made many documentary films, can have. It is also a work of scholarship that tells the story of this form in one place, in this case India, with impeccable attention to history and detail. Finally, it achieves a beautiful balance between historical detail and theoretical currency.”
Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor in Media, Culture and Communication, New York University.