Too often in the past two decades, the announcement has been made, "The documentary is dead." But stubbornly it has not come to pass. The reason, principally, is the documentary's flexibility. For so long associated with educational and political goals, the documentary has more recently aggressively embraced the entertainment impulse that has swept through broadcast news and reality programming. Less obvious but no less important is the documentary's hold on past generations. Its affiliation with political, social, and educational goals has given documentary a gravitas or weight that is deeply meaningful. The form consequently has not lost its audience as so many other story forms have. Whatever the reason, the announcement that the documentary is dead has been an empty one. The documentary is alive and evolving. In this chapter we will address a number of its innovations, the changes in the personal documentary, the expansion in the use of narration in a fashion differing from earlier uses, and the interface between documentary and drama. First we turn to the shifts in the personal documentary.
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