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Docufiction (or docu-fiction, often confused with docudrama) is a neologism which refers to the cinematographic combination of fiction and documentary.

Concerning a film genre in expansion, the new term appeared at the beginning of the 21st century. It is now commonly used in several languages and widely accepted for classification by the most important international film festivals.

Docudrama is often used as a synonym for docufiction. Drama is confused with fiction, and the concept turns ambiguous. Widely used, it refers specifically to telefilms or other television media recreations, such as a documentary that dramatizes certain events often with actors. The term docudrama is more apt in this sense.

The word docufiction is also sometimes used to refer to literary journalism (creative nonfiction).

Either in cinema or television, docufiction is, anyway, a film genre in full development during the first decade of this century.



The term involves a way of making films already practised by such authors as Robert Flaherty, one of the fathers of documentary, and Jean Rouch, in the 20th century.

It also implicates the concept that fiction and documentary are basic genres, due to the ontological status of the filmed image as photography: the double is shown as being the same, as representation and reality. Being both, docufiction is a hybrid genre, arising ethical problems concerning truth.

In the domain of visual anthropology, the innovating role of Jean Rouch allows one to consider him as the father of a subgenre called ethnofiction (Jean Rouch and the Genesis of Ethnofiction – thesis by Brian Quist, Long Island University).

First docufictions by country

Other well-known docufictions

Sources and bibliography



  • Rhodes, Gary D.; Springer, John Parris, eds (2006). Docufictions : Essays on the Intersection of Documentary and Fictional Filmmaking. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. ISBN 9780786421848.  See table of contents.
  • Paget, Derek (1998). No Other Way to Tell It. Dramadoc/docudrama on television. Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719045332. 
  • Rosenthal, Alan (1999). Why Docudrama? : Fact-Fiction on Film and TV. Carbondale & Edwardsville: Southern Illinois Press. ISBN 9780809321865. 
  • Lipkin, Steven N., ed (2002). Real Emotional Logic. Film and Television Docudrama As Persuasive Practice. Carbondale: Southern Illinois Press. ISBN 9780809324095. 

See also

External links


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