Over the past fifty years, a unique hybrid genre of nfiction cinema called the avant-doc has emerged in the world of independent film. Combining the unconventional techniques of avant-garde auteurs like Stan Brakhage with the verisimilitude of traditional documentaries, the avant-doc expands the way cinema captures and chronicles events. Drawing on firsthand interviews with nineteen of the form's chief practitioners and participants, Avant-Doc constructs an oral history that provides the first insider's perspective on the phemen.
Scott MacDonald teaches film history at Hamilton College and Harvard University. He is the author of several books, most recently, American Ethnographic Film and Personal Documentary.