Books

An ever-expanding list of volumes dedicated to documentary in East and Southeast Asia (mainly in English, but also Italian, French etc.).

In English

Japanese Documentary Film – The Meiji Era through Hiroshima (Abé Mark Nornes, University of Minnesota Press, 2003)
Among Asian countries—where until recently documentary filmmaking was largely the domain of governments—Japan was exceptional for the vigor of its film industry. And yet, Japanese documentary remains largely unstudied outside of Japan. The first English-language study of the subject, this book provides an enlightening look at the first fifty years of documentary film theory and practice in Japan.
(more here)

 Forest of Pressure – Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary (Abé Mark Nornes, University of Minnesota Press, 2006)
A critical biography of filmmaking collective Ogawa Pro, Forest of Pressure explores the emergence of socially committed documentary filmmaking in postwar Japan. Benefiting from unprecedented access to the collective’s archives and interviews with former members, and analyzing Ogawa Pro’s films and works by other Japanese filmmakers, Abé Mark Nornes addresses key issues in documentary theory and practice.
(more here)

Camera Obtrusa – The action documentaries of Hara Kazuo (Hara Kazuo, Kaya Press, 2010)
A translation of Hara’s writings on his life and his documentaries. (more here)
The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement: For the Public Record (Edited by Chris Berry, Lu Xinyu and Lisa Rofel, Hong Kong University Press, 2010)
The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement is a groundbreaking project unveiling recent documentary film work that has transformed visual culture in China, and brought new immediacy along with a broader base of participation to Chinese media. As a foundational text, this volume provides a much-needed introduction to the topic of Chinese documentary film, the signature mode of contemporary Chinese visual culture. (more here)

Asian Documentary Today (Edited by Jane H. C. Yu, Busan International Film Festival, 2012)
Published by the Busan International Film Festival, the book is divided in two parts: “Part 1. The Landscape” (essays on contemporary documentary in Asia) and Part 2. Viewpoints, featuring interviews with filmmakers. (more here)

Hong Kong Documentary Film (Ian Aitken, Michael Ingham, Edinburgh University Press, 2014)
A comprehensive study of the lost genre of Hong Kong documentary film. (more here)

 In Italian

Wang Bing – Il cinema nella Cina che cambia (Edited by Daniela Persico, Agenzia X, 2011)
A collective work entirely dedicated to Wang Bing.

 

more coming

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