documentary


documentary
documentarily, adv.
/dok'yeuh men"teuh ree, -tree/, adj., n., pl. documentaries.
adj.
1. Also, documental /dok'yeuh men"tl/. pertaining to, consisting of, or derived from documents: a documentary history of France.
2. Motion Pictures, Television. based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements: a documentary life of Gandhi.
n.
3. Motion Pictures, Television. a documentary film, radio or television program, etc.
[1795-1805; DOCUMENT + -ARY]

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Fact-based film that depicts actual events and persons.

Documentaries can deal with scientific or educational topics, can be a form of journalism or social commentary, or can be a conduit for propaganda or personal expression. The term was first coined by Scottish-born filmmaker John Grierson to describe fact-based features such as Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North (1922). Grierson's Drifters (1929) and Pare Lorentz's The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) influenced documentary filmmaking in the 1930s. During the World War II era documentary filmmaking was a valuable propaganda tool used by all sides. Leni Riefenstahl contributed to the Nazi propaganda efforts in the 1930s; the U.S. made films such as Frank Capra's series Why We Fight (1942–45); and Britain released London Can Take It (1940). Cinéma vérité documentaries, which gained notoriety in the 1960s, emphasized a more informal and intimate relationship between camera and subject. Television became an important medium for documentary films with goals that were more journalistic (such as CBS's Harvest of Shame [1960]) and educational (such as Ken Burns's Civil War [1990]).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Documentary '60 — Genre documentary Country of origin  Canada Language(s) English …   Wikipedia

  • documentary — doc·u·men·ta·ry /ˌdä kyə men tə rē/ adj: being, consisting of, or contained in documents documentary evidence Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Documentary — Doc u*men ta*ry, a. Pertaining to written evidence; contained or certified in writing. Documentary evidence. Macaulay …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • documentary — (adj.) c.1810, pertaining to documents, from DOCUMENT (Cf. document) + ARY (Cf. ary). Meaning factual, meant to provide a record of something is from 1926, from Fr. film documentarie (1924). The noun (short for documentary film) is attested from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • documentary — ► ADJECTIVE 1) consisting of documents and other material providing a factual account. 2) using film, photographs, and sound recordings of real events. ► NOUN (pl. documentaries) ▪ a documentary film or television or radio programme …   English terms dictionary

  • documentary — [däk΄yo͞o ment′ə rē, däk΄yəment′ə rē] adj. 1. consisting of, supported by, contained in, or serving as a document or documents 2. designating or of a film, TV program, etc. that dramatically shows or analyzes news events, social conditions, etc …   English World dictionary

  • documentary — [n] investigative report account, broadcast, docudrama, feature, film, information, narrative; concepts 271,282 …   New thesaurus

  • Documentary —    Although subsequently often relegated to the status of poor cousin of the fictional feature film, the documentary held pride of place in the early years of the Italian cinema. Indeed it would appear to have been the commercial success in 1904… …   Guide to cinema

  • Documentary —    Although subsequently often relegated to the status of poor cousin of the fictional feature film, the documentary held pride of place in the early years of the Italian cinema. Indeed it would appear to have been the commercial success in 1904… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Documentary — A documentary is a creative work of non fiction, including: * Documentary film, including television * Radio documentary * Documentary photographyRelated terms include: * documentary, a Canadian digital television channel devoted to documentaries …   Wikipedia

  • documentary — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ film, radio, television, TV ▪ controversial ▪ science, wildlife, etc …   Collocations dictionary


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