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Documentary: Definition Essay

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Updated: Jul 22nd, 2021

The concept of a documentary is far from being new. Narrating one’s life can be regarded as one of the most basic ways for artists to express themselves. The documentary can be defined as the attempt to recreate the actual events, either from a biographic perspective or representing a particular time period (Archeoten). For this reason, the documentary can be defined as the narration of actual and important historical events using realism as the lens through which these events are viewed.

Having been popularized in photography in the 1960s, the documentary is typically seen as a chance at picturing a particular phenomenon, event, or person in a realistic way, avoiding any embellishments. In photography, the notion of the documentary can be applied to portraying the events that hold very high historical significance (Globian). Thus, the documentary is represented by the following statement: “To discover and reveal is the way every artist sets about his business” (Frances Flaherty, “Robert Flaherty: Explorer and Film Maker,” 1958). The realism of images and the absence of any embellishments can be regarded as the key characteristic of the documentary genre in photography (Archeoten). Thus, an artist emphasizes the historical significance of a specific historical event.

Works Cited

Archeoten. Vimeo. 2019, Web.

Flaherty, Frances. Robert Flaherty: Explorer and Film-Maker: The Film of Discovery and Revelation. IFS Collection, 1958.

Globian. Globians Film Fest, 2016, Web..

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