An Evaluation of Intertwined Fiction and Documentary: An Analysis of The Cove (2009)


Recent developments in digital film technology have made film production cheaper and easier compared to the past. However, it seems more difficult to decide how and what to shoot in a film, to find and narrate intriguing subjects and stories suitable for today’s film making strategies. In this respect, to get the attention of a large audience, documentary films based on actual historical and social events tend to adopt fictional film making strategies, a practice that questions the distinction between documentary and fictional cinema. Indeed,  the validity of this distinction, which has been vague throughout the history of cinema, is increasingly blurred through the use of similar film making methods. Nowadays  one  witnesses true-life films that deal with cultural, political, and economic subjects paying more attention to form and genre. While trying to tell a true story convincingly, so that an audience believes the arguments it presents, The Cove (2009) adopts a narrative style like the style of a fictional film. Furthermore, the film has aroused discussion because of the economical, cultural, and political severity of its subject. Hence, in an analysis of this film, the causes and effects of combining film making methods can be examined in detail by revisiting the distinction between documentary and fictional films.