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Direct Cinema: Observational Documentary and the Politics of the Sixties offers a meticulously researched study of a significant period in the history of North American documentary film. Earlier studies of direct cinema have mostly focused on the technological developments that were prerequisite to the production of this kind of film. The detailed reading of a selection of the better-known films, informed by the cultural and political history of their epoch, is a project that has not previously been undertaken. This volume demonstrates that the social and political contexts upon which observational documentaries drew were every bit as important as in the genesis of this sub-genre. Presented with coherence, clarity and élan, there is much original work here that fills a significant gap in the study of cinema and television.
— John Izod, Stirling Media Research Institute