By J. Chapman
A brand new heritage of British Documentary is the 1st accomplished evaluate of documentary construction in Britain from early movie to the current day. It covers either the movie and tv industries and demonstrates how documentary perform has tailored to altering institutional and ideological contexts.
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Extra resources for A New History of British Documentary
The creation of an ofﬁcial newsreel was part of a rationalization of all propaganda activities that also resulted, in March 1918, in the establishment of a Ministry of Information under Beaverbrook. War Ofﬁce Ofﬁcial Topical Budget was issued twice weekly until the end of the war, though in February 1918 its name changed to Pictorial News (Ofﬁcial). By this time there were seven ofﬁcial cameramen in different theatres of war: four on the Western Front, one in Egypt, one in Mesopotamia and one with the Royal Navy at sea.
57 The major theoretical debate around television documentary has focused on a speciﬁc form: the drama documentary. Here it is necessary to make some attempt at deﬁnition as the terms ‘drama documentary’ and ‘documentary drama’ – and other variations including ‘dramatized documentary’, ‘dramadoc’ and ‘docudrama’ – are often used interchangeably in critical discussion. 58 In this schemata, television ﬁlms such as Hillsborough and Bloody Sunday are drama documentaries (dramatic reconstructions of real events) whereas Cathy Come Home is a documentary drama (a ﬁctional narrative presented in a documentary style).
Yet in a sense this is the real value of their ﬁlms: here there is no ‘creative treatment of actuality’ but simply an impulse to observe and record everyday life. The sheer extent of the collection has provided ﬁlm historians with a much fuller picture of the style of early non-ﬁction ﬁlm in Britain, which is best understood as a mode of ﬁlm practice in its own right, with its own formal codes and conventions, rather than as a precursor of the documentary movement that would follow later. Battle of the Somme (1916) and the origins of British documentary It was during the First World War that the cinema came of age as a mass medium.