ences and reasons; I have neither tried to seek out nor actively considered much if any of the available, centrally relevant evidence concerning Nanook's production and its maker's attitudes, methods, plans, and objectives. In short, I have little justification for P1, hence little indication of its truth. Note that my belief could pertain to any aspect of Nanook's representational content: to its collateral information about the Inuit, to Flaherty's attitudes and actions, or to the attitudes of his culture. The criteria of justification would remain the same.
Although its function as a label for a grand generic roundup of otherwise diverse films far exceeds its etymological import, the very name "documentary" seems since the 1970s to have provoked scholars to bury the genre below a mountain of hesitations about its goodness as evidence. At this stage of cinema studies" development -- with the awakening of interests in analytic, cognitivist, and realist perspectives; and in light of new and highly relevant contributions to post-positivist philosophy of knowledge -- we have an opportunity to make well-informed, thorough adjustments to our attitudes and approaches toward the documentary's epistemic dimensions. I have defended one possible framework within which to do such remedial work. It is a moderate, critically minded variety of realism that requires no assurances of truth but, rather, degrees of justification for regarding some representations as true.