ERIC Number: ED203393
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The "De-Rhetorical" Function of Docudrama: A Generic Approach.
Bryski, Bruce G.
An increasingly popular form of mass media persuasion is the "docudrama," a hybrid of the informative documentary and the dramatic film. The docudrama format presents viewers with a purposive viewpoint or value-laden interpretation of reality and contains some degree of historical accuracy and factual authenticity. The docudrama also draws heavily from motion picture production techniques, such as narrative structure, camera angle, and sound. A comparison of the television docudrama "Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones" with the dramatic motion picture "Guyana--Cult of the Damned" highlights the differences between these two genres. Docudrama is a form of de-rhetorical speech in that it alters viewers' perceptions of reality, but its distortion of history for dramatic effect does not observe the ethics of rhetoric. The following question is posed by this evolving genre: At what point does a critic draw the line between "dramatic license" and "historical distortion"? (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Pittsburgh, PA, April 24-26, 1981).