Why are ethical issues central to documentary filmmaking?; how are documentaries different from other types of films?; what gives documentary films their distinctive voice?; what are documentaries about?; how did documentary filmmaking get started?; what types of documentary film are there?; how have documentaries addressed social and political issues?; how can we write effectively about documentary?
"Bill Nichols' succinct Introduction to Documentary would make an ideal textbook, and that's no backhanded compliment. Patiently, almost tenderly, the author leads the reader step by step through the thicket of moral, political, aesthetic and technological issues documentary film raises - writing in a clean style that doesn't simplify ideas so much as distil them." - SIGHT AND SOUND, August 2002