Documentary and Cognitive Theory: Narrative, Emotion and Memory

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Documentary and Cognitive Theory: Narrative, Emotion and Memory


  • Ib Bondebjerg Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen, Karen Blixens Vej 4, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark


Abstract  This article deals with the benefits of using cognitive theory in documentary film studies. The article deals with general aspects of cognitive theory in humanities and social science, however the main focus is on the role of narrative, visual style and emotional dimensions of different types of documentaries. Dealing with cognitive theories of film and media and with memory studies, the article analyses how a cognitive approach to documentaries can increase our understanding of how documentaries influence us on a cognitive and emotional level and contribute to the forming of our social and cultural imagination. The article analyses case studies of documentaries dealing with climate change and the environment and documentaries dealing with social history.


Keywords  cognitive theory; documentary and climate change; documentary genres; emotions; historical documentary; memory; narrative; social and cultural imagination


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v2i1.17


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