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Recording Reality, Desiring the Real$
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Elizabeth Cowie

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816645480

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816645480.001.0001

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Narrating the Real: The Fiction and the Nonfiction of Documentary Storytelling

Narrating the Real: The Fiction and the Nonfiction of Documentary Storytelling

Chapter:
(p.19) 1 Narrating the Real: The Fiction and the Nonfiction of Documentary Storytelling
Source:
Recording Reality, Desiring the Real
Author(s):

Elizabeth Cowie

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816645480.003.0002

This chapter examines nonfiction documentary storytelling and the method of distinguishing it from fictional cinema. Two central concerns that characterize nonfiction documentary are discussed: first, an opposition to the dominant mass cinema of fictional narrative; and second, a concern not with mere recorded actuality but with documentary as “a new art” of film. The chapter argues that the distinction of fiction from nonfiction is neither epistemological nor philosophical, but a discursive effect that is produced by the assertion of a differentiation.

Keywords:   nonfiction, fiction, documentary, fictional cinema, discursive effect, documentary story telling

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