The Intersection of Documentary and Fiction in Laurent Cantet's "The Class," Samira Makhmalbaf's "The Apple," and James Marsh's "Man On Wire"
MetadataShow full item record
As there is no consensus among contemporary film theoreticians on where the boundary between documentary and fiction lies, I set it as a goal in my thesis paper to examine theoretical approaches that either demarcate or blur the boundary between the two genres and explore the nature of the intersection of fact and fiction. I also intend to analyze the recurring set of characteristics that constitute the genre of "docufiction." As part of my study of "docufiction," I compare three foreign films -- Laurent Cantet’s The Class, Samira Makhmalbaf's The Apple, and James Marsh’s Man On Wire -- in terms of the way they were scripted, directed and shot and the type of issues they bring up. In my analysis I refer to Steven N. Lipkin’s Real Emotional Logic: Film and Television Docudrama as Persuasive Practice when I explore the way "docufiction" presents history to the audience and Bill Nichols’ "Documentary Reenactment and The Fantasmatic Subject" when I discuss different types of reenactments in the films under consideration. Upon my investigation, which includes the examination of theories offered by Marie-Laure Ryan, Bill Nichols, Linda Williams, and Dirk Eitzen, I come to agree with Linda Williams’ and Marie-Laure Ryan’s argument that the boundary between documentary and fiction does exist. However, this proposition does not deny the existence of the transitional genre of "docufiction," which, unlike documentary, gives filmmakers more freedom. It allows them to address issues of the past through the recreation of the places and events that are no longer available for representation in the present and shape documentary material dramatically, making it more personal and accessible to the audience. Unlike fiction, docufiction presents a certain amount of verifiable information.