The Docudrama

On one level, that of content, docudrama has much in common with melodrama. The nature of the struggle, the positioning of the main character, and the tone are similar. But on the issue of style, the manner of presentation of the story, they differ. The docudrama is concerned with a particular kind of style, a style that assures an aura of veracity. This style may be present in the melodrama, but it is never as central a feature as it is in the docudrama.

The docudrama has its roots in the documentary. The sense of actuality in Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North and Man of Aran conveyed the idea of cultures quickly giving way to modern urban life. Equally important, however, these documentaries took editorial positions about ...

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