ApproximationDocumentary, History and Staging Reality

Not a Documentary

Fictions that masquerade as documentaries are amongst the most interesting ‘approximations’.

Blurring difference

Using theories of documentary and making comparison with documentary films, this section examines three diverse examples that disrupt and make one doubt definitions of ‘documentary’ and ‘fiction’ as well as implicitly speculating that the two are not necessarily diametrically opposed.


Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammantino, 2010); Robinson in Ruins (Patrick Keiller, 2010); Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008).



Stella Bruzzi FBA

Stella Bruzzi

Stella Bruzzi is Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick and was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 2013. She was Head of Department 2006–2008 and Chair of the Faculty of Arts at Warwick 2008–2011. She lives in Oxford with her husband and two children.


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