The function of narrative in interactive documentary

Interactive documentary theory has oversimplified concepts of narrative in order to accentuate the contrast between traditional documentary and interactive documentary. In doing so, there is a risk of imagining the interactive documentary as an impermeable and incomprehensible artefact, resistant to hermeneutic examination. This paper will show that by approaching the question of narrative coherence as a phenomenological proposition, a theory of narrative can be developed which is able to account for interactive documentary traits which are not shared with traditional documentaries. In order to reimagine the role of narrative in interactive documentary, the philosophical approach of Paul Ricoeur will be adapted and extended. Ricoeur’s combination of phenomenology and hermeneutics encourages a nuanced and philosophically rigorous approach to narrative, which helps us expand on the role of narrative in interactive documentary.

Reeder, J.C. (2020) “The function of narrative in interactive documentary”. In: Studies in Documentary Film DOI 10.1080/17503280.2020.1815124

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