Aitken, Ian. Film and Reform: John Grierson and the Documentary Film Movement. London: Routeledge, 1990. Focuses on John Grierson and the history of British documentary.

Alexander, William. Film on the Left. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press., 1981. Offers biographies on important political film makers of the 1930s and purpose behind the documentary film movement.

Baddeley, W. Hugh. The Technique of Documentary Film Production. New York: Hastings House, 1963. Discusses and defines documentary film as an instrument of practical teaching.

Barnouw, Erik. Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. Offers a history of documentary films, including a section on Frontier Films and Pare Lorentz with accompanying photographs.

Barsam, Richard M. Non-Fiction Film: A Critical History. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1973. A history of documentary film with a chapter on American Non-Fiction Films from 1930-1939. Discusses Frontier Films, Pare Lorentz, newsreels, etc. with photographs.

Campbell, Russell. Cinema Strikes Back: Radical Filmmaking in the United States 1930-1942. Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1978. Important text focusing entirely on the history, output, and effects of Frontier Films. Includes scripts from several films.

Denning, Michael. The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century. New York: Verso, 1996. Discusses Frontier Films inside a narrative on the American Popular Front.

Ellis, Jack C. The Documentary Idea: A Critical History of English-Language Documentary Film and Video. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1989. A definitive glimpse of documentary from Flaherty to World War I, with discussions of films and behind the scenes.

Fielding, Raymond. The American Newsreel: 1911-1967. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972. Looks at the history of news films and reels from 1889-1967, including March of Time which Native Land attempted to discredit.

Grant, Barry Keith and Jeannette Sloniowski. Documenting the Documentary: Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998. The most relevant chapters are chapters 7 and 8--"American Documentary Finds Its Voice: Persuasion and Expression in The Plow and The City" and "The Spanish Earth by Joris Ivens."

Grierson, John. Grierson on Documentary. London: William Collins Sons and Company, Ltd., 1966. An invaluable resource for background theory and British history of documentary film.

Guynn, William. Cinema of the Non-Fiction. Cranbury, New Jersey: Associated University Presses, Inc., 1990. An excellent source on documentary theory, offering extensive definitions, explanations, and history of the non-fiction film.

Kracauer, Siegfried. Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality. London: Oxford University Press, 1960. Discusses the basic concepts of cinema and the documentary, including composition, music, and the characteristics of films of fact such as Valley Town.

Levin, G. Roy. Documentary Explorations. Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1971. Contains fifteen interviews with film makers from the thirties era, including Willard Van Dyke.

Lewis, Jacobs. Ed. The Documentary Tradition: From Nanook to Woodstock. New York: Hopkins and Blake, 1971. A compilation of essays from the Depression era on the forms of Hollywood, film reviews, and definitions of documentary.

MacCann, Richard Dyer. The People's Films: A Political History of United States Government Motion Pictures. New York: Hastings House, 1973. An in-depth discussion of the tradition of documentary film in the United States, tracing government films by department.

Monaco, James. How to Read a Film: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. A broad overview of film language, history, and theory in addition to changing technology and film as art.

Nelmes, Jill. Ed. An Introduction to Film Studies. London: Routeledge, 1996. Academic essays on film form, art, technology, and most relevant the documentary as social reality by Paul Wells.

Rabiger, Michael. Directing the Documentary. Boston: Focal Press, 1998. Provides a brief and functional definition of documentary as a preface to the practical aspects of producing a documentary. A discussion of theory and documentary elements is also included.

Renov, Michael. Ed. Theorizing Documentary. New York: Routledge, 1993. Ten essays on meaning, poetics, and performance in documentary.

Smither, Roger and Wolfgang Klaue. Newsreels in Film Archives. Cranbury, New Jersey: Associated University Press, 1996. Offers a brief discussion of newsreel history and a discussion of March of Time.

Spottiswoode, Raymond. A Grammar of the Film: An Analysis of Film Technique. Berkley: University of California Press, 1965. A compact resource on film definitions, history, categories, and techniques.

Stott, William. Documentary Expression and Thirties America. New York: Oxford University, 1974. Includes history, definitions, and discussion of documentary in America in the thirties.

Waugh, Thomas. Ed. Show Us Life: Toward a History and Aesthetics of the Committed Documentary. Metuschen, New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1984. Of particular interest is chapter 4: "Radical Documentary in the United States 1930-1942" by Russell Campbell, which gives a brief and succinct discussion of Frontier Films.


Introduction History Definition Interpreting Documentary Biographies Films Themes Conclusion Home