News & Events

March 2010

Documentary in Paris

Documentary in Paris

Documentary Institute co-director Churchill Roberts taught an intensive course in documentary over spring break at UF’s Paris Research Center. The course focused on France and documentary in World War II and the Holocaust and the French New Wave and beginnings of cinema vérité. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit with pioneer filmmaker Ricky Leacock, whose ideas about direct cinema were often in conflict with those of his close friend, French filmmaker Jean Rouch. Rouch, who died a few years ago, came up with the term cinema vérité, which he named in honor of Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov.

Students visited Cinémathèque Française, the Museum of the Liberation, the Shoah Museum, and made a day trip to Natzweiler-Struthof, the only Nazi extermination camp on French soil. The camp is located near Strasbourg. Roberts said “Paris was cold, Natzweiler was freezing, but fortunately it never rained while we were there.”