Ways of Feeling: audience’s meaning making in interactive documentary through an analysis of Fort McMoney

Patrícia Nogueira

Punctum, 1(1): 79-93, 2015
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2015.0006


The transition of documentary film to digital platforms has changed the cinematographic narrative. We still use the language of traditional films (take, perspective, camera movement, montage) and Bill Nichols’ modes of documentary (2001) are still pertinent to non-fiction film making, but interactive documentary adds unprecedented complexity to film analysis. Interactivity is a crucial recent innovation of film language, which gives a radically new dimension to the documentary form. Interactive documentaries have a two-fold nature: they are both forms endowed with meaning and experience structures that enable meaningful actions, both on the syntagmatic and the paradigmatic axis. Employing a multimodal framework, which combines film analysis with the analysis of non-linear structures, the study of interactive documentary becomes the exploration of its narrative experience, the account of the ways it engages the audience in its constant (re)creation. The analysis of the National Film Board of Canada’s documentary Fort McMoney (Dufresne 2013) approaches the interactive potential of meaning-making in a digital documentary, both in its aesthetics and its structure, by focusing on the experience of interaction.

KEYWORDS: interactive documentary; interactivity; multimodality; audience participation
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