Arts & Entertainment

Film 101: Understanding Reflexive Documentary Mode

Written by the MasterClass staff

Last updated: Jun 28, 2021 • 2 min read

There are six different types of documentaries, each with their own style and filmmaking characteristics. American film critic Bill Nichols defined the different types of documentaries as expository mode, participatory mode, performative mode, poetic mode, reflexive mode, and observational documentary mode. The reflexive documentary shines a spotlight on the process of making a documentary.