The seminar will encourage students to think critically about the documentary as artistic medium and as socio-political practice. Some important questions will focus on the form itself: who has produced and watched these films and through what sorts of technologies? What are the codes through which documentaries make sense of their subjects and how do these change? Other questions will have wider scope: how can filmmaking impact politics and culture? How does it deal with the gap between reality and representation? What are the ethical issues of such work? What, if anything, is distinct about the life of documentary films in East Asia?