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Many of the genre characteristics of the documentary whether intentionally or not serve to reassure the viewer that the people and actions depicted are true and sincere When a documentary strays from certain conventions viewers question the actuality of the content Such is the case in Godbouts The Fate of America where the heavy staging and scripting cause the viewer to question the validity of the filmmakers chance meeting of Ren Dubois However when a fiction film adopts the genre conventions of a documentary the reverse occurs Whereas the viewer of a documentary may question whether the supposed non-fiction is actually fiction the viewer of a mocumentary is presented with the possibility that fiction is actually true The mocumentary is a fiction film which presents its content in the form of a documentary Many mocumentaries adopt the form of the documentary in order to present a fictional person or incidence in a humorous way In This is Spinal Tap the band is ridiculed by offering ludicrous answers to simple questions asked by the documentarian Although many mocumentaries such as This is Spinal Tap Waiting for Guffman and Burn Hollywood Burn adopt the conventions of the documentary in order to parody their content other mocumentaries such as Man Bites Dog and Hard Core Logo take this form in an attempt to convince the viewer that what he is watching is true These mock documentaries mock as in imitate the form of the documentary while attempting to establish the actuality of their fictional content Whereas humorous mocumentaries rely on elements of fiction such as humor and exaggeration in order to indicate the sarcastic nature of the film any deterrence from realism in the real mocumentary pulls the viewer away from entertaining the possibility of actuality Both This is Spinal Tap 1984 and Waiting for Guffman 1997 were produced by Karen Murphey and co-written by Christopher Guest The two humorous
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