The History of Making Documentaries

The history of making documentaries. Everything from the Lumier Brothers in the late 1800s, to the birth of “Reality TV”.

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  1. John Grierson coined the term documentary in review of Robert Flaherty’s film Moana in 1926.

  2. Hi Scott. Liked your article a lot. Just a small point to correct, if I may. It was Louis Lumière (of the Lumière Brothers) who directed and filmed « L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat » in 1895. It lasts about 50 seconds. (The arrival of a train at the La Ciotat station). La Ciotat is a small mediterranean village near Marseille, in Provence. And La Ciotat has the world’s oldest cinema (1889), the Eden Theater, still in operation.

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