Mockumentary

From Academic Kids

Mockumentary (portmanteau of mock documentary. Also, fictional documentary, false documentary) names a film and TV genre, or a single work of the genre. The mockumentary is presented as if it were a documentary, though it is not factual. It is a commonly used medium for parody and satire.

Mockumentaries are often presented as historical documentaries with b roll and talking heads discussing past events or as cinema verite pieces following people as they go through various events. Examples of this type of satire date back at least to the 1950s (a very early example was a short piece on the "Swiss Spaghetti Harvest" that appeared as an April fool's joke on the British television program Panorama in 1957), though the term "mockumentary" is thought to have first appeared in the mid-1980s when This is Spinal Tap director Rob Reiner used it in interviews to describe that film.

The false documentary form has also been used for some dramatic productions (and precursors to this approach date back to the radio days and Orson Welles' The War of the Worlds.)

Comedic examples

Dramatic examples

  • The Blair Witch Project, a horror film in the form of a documentary about a vanished film crew. Also see Curse of the Blair Witch (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0202493/).
  • The Last Broadcast, another horror film in the form of a documentary about a vanished film crew
  • Special Bulletin, a 1983 TV movie commenting on the nuclear arms race, which is presented as a mock-TV news broadcast involving a terrorists with a homemade nuclear bomb.
  • The War Game, a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city
  • Supervolcano, a documentary about the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano.
  • Smallpox 2002: Silent Weapon (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0320482/) A docu-drama that reports on a (fictitious) attack made by terrorist using the disease of small pox to attack the world.
  • Alternative 3 uncovering a political conspiracy to establish a settlement on Mars (television)

See also

he:מוקומנטריה fr:Faux documentaire sv:Fiktiv dokumentr

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