Jane Roscoe
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Recent transformations of the documentary genre
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This chapter examines some of the recent transformations of the documentary genre and explores the ways in which documentary has responded to these various challenges. These transformations have resulted in a range of new representational strategies that have consciously opened up spaces between the entities of 'fact' and 'fiction'. Big-budget feature-length documentary has shown that it can draw large audiences to cinemas - one only has to look at the success of Hoop Dreams (1994), When We Were Kings (1996), and Crumb (1994) for evidence of the cinematic form's popularity. Documentary, like science, has sought to maintain a claim to be able to access and reveal the truth about the social world. One of the consequences of the critique of 'truth' and 'reality' has been the blurring of traditional boundaries between documentary and drama, and between fact and fiction.

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