Modes of Documentary
Poetic documentaries were first seen in the 1920s. As the name sounds, poetic documentaries
focus on experiences, images, and portraying the world through a different set of eyes. As such,
they are abstract and use loose narratives. They aim to present a feeling rather than truth.
Therefore, poetic documentaries are mainly involved in entertaining or evoking a directed
reception and reaction from the audience. These documentaries have since phased out due to the
demand for documentaries to provide truths and document evidence as opposed to entertainment.
On the other hand, expository documentaries are the conventional documentaries
considered by many people. They are sharply contrasted from poetic documentaries by the fact
that they tend to present truths. They use the narration of an omnipresent “voice of God” to put
the information in context. These documentaries mainly came into the market in the 1980s when
filming was increasingly used to determine truths about various occurrences (Nichols 601). The
main technological advancement was the ability to add commentaries, and this is used to date
and still prevails as the most common documentary mode.
Another mode of documentaries is the observational mode. First and foremost, as
opposed to expository, observational mode gives a chance to all sides of a documented story to
be heard through the ab...