Film 101: Understanding Performative Documentary Mode
Written by MasterClass
Last updated: Jun 28, 2021 • 2 min read
There are six different modes of documentary, each with their own style and filmmaking characteristics. American film critic Bill Nichols defined these documentaries as expository mode, participatory mode, observational mode, performative mode, poetic mode, and reflexive mode. Documentary filmmakers use the performative mode to create an entertaining and informative piece about a person, place, event, or thing.