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Grierson's ghost never dies: The Fiji Film Unit 1970-1985

Volume 11, Issue 2

September, 2005

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Author(s): Philip Robertson
Publication date: 
September, 2005

This article exlpores what happens when a documentary film form developed within a specific social, ideological, institutoinal, and aesthetic context—namely, the so-called British Documentary Movement, under the aegis of John Grierson—is deployed in several layers of argument involved, but I will pursue only one of them in the space available here. At a kind of metatheoretical level, it is arguable that Indigenous and Asian cultures are inimical to core values of the Western documentary project: in particular, to the belief in, and rhetorical power of, the material, historical word. In these societies, what might be called 'spiritual' or 'other' worlds have as much everyday reality as Griersonian 'actuality'.