Documentary Film

It’s been some time since Queen’s that I’ve really focused on documentary film, which at the time was something I truly became fascinated in. In order to use it as my potential research topic for my essay, I’ve decided to go back to the basics of the the genre form to get an update on the understanding of it’s usage. According to Patricia Aufderheide, documentary can’t be defined in the simplest terms that it’s ‘not a movie’ (2007, pg. 1). It usually presents a real life story with a sense of ‘truthfulness’ (2007, pg. 2) – an ‘actuality’ as some define it. They communicate an understanding to the audience who tend to have a sense of trust in the facts (2007, pg. 5).

Stylistically, documentary maintains the same traditional notions of film such as ‘sound’, ‘images’, ‘special effects’ and ‘pacing’ in order to develop characters, focus on specific stories then find a way to resolve the story’s central conflict (2007, pg. 10). The emotional effect of cinematography also remains consistent as filmmakers can capture the feelings of the subject and frame them in a specific dramatic light TBC


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