The 25th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (2-12 March, 2023) will host a multifaceted tribute to observational documentary, titled The Art of Reality: Beyond Observation. The tribute will be accompanied by a special bilingual edition, with articles written by distinguished theorists and authors.
Drawing inspiration from the principles of documentary pioneer and director of the legendary Nanook of the North, Robert Flaherty, Italian neorealism, French cinema verité, American direct cinema, and the working methods implemented by social anthropology, observational documentary is not confined to simple documentation. On the contrary, it outlines the deeper truth behind the subjects and the world it observes. The films included in the tribute explore both the historical beginnings of the genre, as well as its evolution over time, bringing to the fore the countless aspects, versions and images of our world, which escape from the established look and thinking. A total of 20 landmark films directed by iconic filmmakers will be screened within the framework of the tribute. Among the films included are Chronicle of a Summer (1961), Titicut Follies (1967), Don’t Look Back (1968), To Live with Herds (1973), Muhammad Ali: The Greatest (1974), Naim and Jabar (1974), Divorce Iranian Style (1998), Megacities (1998), Austerlitz (2016), The Dazzling Light of Sunset (2016), Honeyland (2019).