Faking it

Mock-documentary and the subversion of factuality

By Craig Hight and Jane Roscoe

Faking it

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-5641-3
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: November 2001
  • BIC Category: The arts / Film theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General, Film history, theory & criticism, Film and Media


The first major study of mock-documentary - one of a number of screen forms that play with the assumed boundaries between 'fact' and 'fiction'. Examines mock-documentary through the specific relationship which the form has with documentary. Part of a wider discussion of the increasingly fragile association between factual codes and conventions and the discourses which underpin the documentary genre. Includes detailed discussions of a number of key mock-documentary texts, ranging from Woody Allen's Zelig, Peter Greenaway's The Falls, and the Beatles spoof The Rutles through to such classic examples as Bob Roberts, This is Spinal Tap and Man Bites Dog. Opens out this relatively new media form and by doing so throws light on the status of the documentary itself.


Introduction: Mock-documentary and the subversion of factuality
1. Factual discourse and the cultural placing of documentary
2. Recent transformations of the documentary genre
3. A cousin for the drama-documentary: Situating the mock-documentary
4. Building a mock-documentary schema
5. A suggested genealogy
6. Degree one: parody
7. Degree two: critique and hoax
8. Degree three: deconstruction


Craig Hight is a Lecturer in the Department of Screen and Media Studies, Waikato University, New Zealand. Jane Roscoe teaches in the School of Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

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