Docudrama on European Television: A Selective Survey by Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann, Derek Paget

By Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann, Derek Paget

This e-book explores docudrama as an artistic reaction to distressed instances. With prevalent features shaped through traditions in theatre in addition to movie, and with claims to truth underscored by way of investigative journalism, tv docudrama examines key occasions and personalities in unfolding nationwide histories. Post-Fall of the Berlin Wall, docudrama has develop into a way for countries to paintings via disturbing stories either inside nationwide borders and Europe-wide. during this regard, it's a big style for tv networks as they try to make experience of complicated present occasions. those authors provide a template for extra learn and aspect in the direction of ways that eu tv cultures, past these mentioned right here, may be thought of within the future.

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These television dramas avoided the use of naturalistic décor and combined fictive scenes with documentary material that served to interrupt the narrative and disrupt the illusion for the spectators (p. 61). Similarly, East German programme makers were influenced by the proletarian theatre tradition and the concepts of Brecht (who had re-emigrated to East Berlin in 1949). Historical programmes, often categorizable as docudramas, were part of German television broadcasting from the 1960s onwards.

From the 1980s, in a second phase, many of the foremost West German directors developed a particular form of television docudrama, which extensively merged fact and fiction, documentary footage and re-enactments. According to Werner C. Barg such television docudramas, mainly linked to the work of Heinrich Breloer and Horst Königstein, examined the story beyond news reports and historical facts and tried to fill ‘gaps in reality’ (Wirklichkeitslücken) in order to reflect the fabrication of historical narratives (2012, pp.

Spread through news reports, the illuminated recreation of the German-German border, as well as recollections and memories of visitors, entered television broadcasting that day and affiliated with other parts of the schedule related to televised memories of 9 November 1989 and of the GDR (German Democratic Republic). This can be illustrated by a closer look at the programming of the second German public broadcasting station ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) on that day. ZDF reported on the light installation in the evening edition of its news show heute journal, which dedicated parts of the broadcast exclusively to the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Wall.

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