In this introductory chapter readers are made familiar with the expanding research field of essayistic filmmaking in world cinema-contexts around the globe. Brenda Hollweg and Igor Krstíc argue that the essay film is a privileged political and ethical tool by means of which filmmakers around the world approach historically specific and locally, geographically concrete issues against larger global issues and universal concerns. The chapter also includes a genealogical overview of important moments in the development of essay filmmaking, particularly during the 1920s and 1960s, and provides readers with short abstracts on the individual chapters and their specific transnationally inflected case studies on essay film practitioners from around the world.
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