not really a fan of the history of documentary class. currently taking the class and i think the TA and the professor are awesome but there is just too much reading for a film class. The class is also very time consuming since it meets twice a week for almost 4 hours per day not to mention a discussion group. Too much effort and too much time consumed for a class like this.
Fall 2016 - I have really mixed reviews on this class: I enjoyed most of the films screened, but I wish there was a bit more diversity (most films are from the UK and US), since it is important to give others a voice in telling their own story in documentaries. Brook doesn't really "believe in" trigger warnings - even for films including heavy rape references. He really fails to check himself as a white, male throughout the class in his analysis of film, and this is especially important in the realm of documentary. I guess this is really a problem with the UCLA film department in general, though, since I have had many teachers like this.
I would highly not recommend this class for anyone. It is a huge waste of time, you won't learn anything you will use later in life, and the midterm is stupidly long for a film course. The final paper is only 6-7pgs. but you will need to use 2 in class readings and 2 outside scholarly sources, you will have to put in too much work for a class that won't prepare you for much, if anything. Don't have a problem with the Professor, just have a problem with the class.