drama documentary

Posted on January 26, 2012

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Film form based on reconstructing real events with fictional means – actors etc.

Used by documentary filmmakers when none archival material are available or to stimulate interest or empathy for the characters and issues tackled. It may be also used by fiction filmmakers to apply documentary content or style to fiction film. In this case it is  often called docudrama (as opposed to dramadoc).

Most famous of the precursors of this form were: Nanook of the North by Robert Flaherty (1926) and Night Mail by Basil Wright and Harry Watt (1936). 

Not to be confused with:
docudrama – film inspired by real events, shot in documentary style, but dramatised (extensively).
docuficton – basically documentary with a fictional element.

An interesting article at BFI’s Screen Online: Drama documentary
And a whole book! No other way to tell it: dramadoc/docudrama on television by Derek Paget

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