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L'écriture documentaire anglo-saxonne : De la propagande à la contestation

Abstract : From the expository documentary pioneered by John Grierson in 1926 to the interactive and reflexive genre that Michael Moore's films emblematically illustrate, the history of the documentary is one of ever-changing cinematographic forms. In his seminal book on the topic (Representing Reality, Bloomington and Indiana, Indiana University Press, 1971), Bill Nichols splits the genre into five categories (expository, observational, interactive, reflexive and performative) which nevertheless seem to interweave to spawn a new hybrid genre mirroring the reality it investigates. These variations correspond to different challenges and are suited to the reality that is recorded and also to the message that the filmmaker wants to get across. Whether the topic is political commitment, a collection of memories, didactic essays or a social investigation, the documentary never stops revisiting its narrative structures to rewrite History or conjure up counter-versions of historic events. Because of the political strength that mimetic illusion endows the documentary with, this genre can further propaganda (The New Deal) and political dissent alike (the conspiracy theories). The purpose of this issue is to study the strategies devised by documentary film-makers when they choose to narrate History. Possible topics range from a study of the discursive strategies at work in the films that helped modernize the genre to the analysis of the historic discourse in the films that investigate events of the past. The following topics represent possible fresh fields of investigation:
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Contributor : Georges Fournier <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 27, 2014 - 11:20:26 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 10, 2020 - 12:16:52 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00937169, version 1



Fournier Georges. L'écriture documentaire anglo-saxonne : De la propagande à la contestation. Lisa, 2013. ⟨halshs-00937169⟩



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