A mockumentary is a type of movie or television show that takes the format of, albeit parodying, a traditional documentary. While the standard form of narration make them initially seem quite innocuous, it also renders them hilarious as the program progresses. For example, just as the narrator of a documentary presents factual information in a serious tone of voice, in a mockumentary totally false or even facetious information is often presented in the same way. This makes them an especially powerful vehicle for raising public awareness about social issues, cultural prejudice and current affairs.
Some well-known mockumentaries that have made a tangible impression on society over recent years include Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine, the Blair Witch Project, Banksy - Exit Through The Gift Shop, and Sasha Baron Cohen's Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakstan.
Do you enjoy mockumentaries, and if so, why? What are your favourites?
Sometimes. My favourite is an Australian film called The Magician, about a ganster in Melbourne (or maybe Sydney, it's been a while since I saw it). It's not supposed to be funny (well, it has the odd blackly funny moment) and I could easily have believed it was a real doco. Oh, and another great Aussie one is The Finished People, which deals with issues of homelessness, and stars an evil Colin Lane, which is a bit freaky if you know him from Lano and Woodley.
I'm not sure I've actually ever seen a mockumentory which s strange because I love this type of humour. I would like to point though that Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine is a legitimate documentary, it won numerous awards for 'best documentary' among others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowling_for_Columbine