Histories: antecedents and first phase
in No other way to tell it
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Docudrama has its roots in a documentary film tradition that was always prepared to use fictional means to tell a factual story. BBC television's postwar dramatised story documentaries were built upon the twin foundations of the radio work and documentary film. In 1998, the author suggests a developmental model for the histories of British dramadoc and American docudrama. In the two national television systems of the UK and USA, the key post-war determinants that shaped the initial development of British dramadoc and American docudrama were economic, historical, cultural and political. The different imperatives of American television produced fact-based programming in the first phase of US development. In the era of 'Griersonian television', documentary's probity and sobriety were little doubted by audiences relatively unschooled in understandings of representation. 'Sincere and justifiable reconstruction', like 'judicious fiction', is a phrase that eloquently indicates the dependence of 1940s filmmakers on something beyond raw actuality.

No other way to tell it

Docudrama on film and television


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