Docudrama Versus Documentary

A docudrama combines documentary and drama.

Docudramas feature actors in a story based on real events.

So docudramas are more like the dramatic movies most people like.

A docudrama may not be as accurate as a documentary, but may be a better “movie.”

A docudrama may not use completely true events.

A docudrama may not be historically correct.

Degree of truthful accuracy of docudramas varies from near 100% down to “Based on a True Story” or further down to “Some of this actually happened.” (Used for the opening screen of American Hustle. The film is described as a “fictionalization” rather than a straight adaptation.).

Some people may be upset if a docudrama is not historically accurate, but this is Hollywood — so just take the movie for what it is.

If you want to learn more facts, then see the documentary or read the book or find the Wiki.

Sometimes a true story will be made into a documentary and also made into a docudrama by a different producer. It’s enjoyable to see an entertaining drama and thought-provoking treatment of issues you typically see only in a documentary.

Instead of studying a docudrama for accurate history, just enjoy a fun film.

If you consider documentaries dry, you may enjoy docudramas more.

Here’s a description of one docudrama:

“While based on a true story, like many movies of this docudrama type, the accuracy of the details is suspect. Still, I prefer to give it the benefit of the doubt. Here the goal seems to be to educate and entertain at the same time. I feel like this film ultimately succeeds at that and it is also a work of art.”

During the past hundred years ago since the age of film began, filmed records of many events have been made as they happen, which can be used to produce documentary films. But during that hundred years not all events have been filmed, so instead docudramas using actors may be the only way to bring those subjects to life on the screen.

For any subject of a movie which occurred over a hundred years ago before the age of film began so that no filmed record of the subject exists that could be used in a documentary film, then a docudrama using actors may be the only way to bring it to life on the screen.

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