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Fictional / Non-Fictional

All Home Movies are Non-Fictional by nature. Making a “Fictional” Home Movie is properly seen as a form of play akin to singing songs, playing catch or building a snowman. Whether we watch a Home Movie of a family performing an original, scripted drama, or playing out “The Three Bears,” we are not immersed in the Fiction – rather we are at a further remove, watching footage of people making a movie. They might just as well be making an igloo.

No, wait – all Home Movies are Fictional by nature! Even the most spontaneous, raw footage is a contrivance, a selection made by the camera operator and implicitly involving the collusion of those filmed (always self-conscious, always putting on a “show”). There is no Reality here – only a pantomime! You think that sentimental “Town Portrait” with all the perfect lawns is Non Fiction? How naïve!

Okay — unless someone else wants to settle this, let’s just agree to use “Narrative” and “Non Narrative.” The friendly and familiar terms of “Fiction” and “Non-Fiction” are simply not at all useful for Home Movies. The most arguable non-fiction examples (explicitly didactic documentaries about nature, for instance) will tend to be more in the realm of Amateur Film.