"Documentaries claim to reveal the truth about a particular aspect of the socio-historical world, and they do so dispassionately and objectively... In its exposition, the documentary normally employs a narrative not altogether different from the classic narrative structure of a fiction film. Both forms of moving image obey the grammar and semantics of cinematic language; the documentary generating its meaning primarily through conventions of naturalism and realism (Silverstone 1986; Collins 1986)... The discourse of the documentary, therefore, straddles two domains: in its ontological claims it privileges the 'truth,' while its aesthetic is strongly narrative in character. Documentaries are in a sense 'true stories,' and their poetics resonate with the ambiguities contained in that oxymoron... Renov suggests that poetic language in narration, music to heighten moods and characters as ideal-types are aspects of fictive elements in the documentary. The blurring of 'truth' and fiction become more pronounced in the case of news footage... Particularly significant in this context is the staging of the allegedly 'live' coverage of the night-time 'rescue' of Lynch, captured on night-vision camera and edited into a five minute film by the Pentagon for release to the networks."
(Ramaswami Harindranath in 'Audience-Citizens: The media, public knowledge and interpretive practice,' p. 108 Sage)
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