Top 10 Mockumentaries

Rising to a more prevalent level of stature in the filmmaking world over the last decade or two, the mockumentary has established itself as a legitimate genre. Usually used to create pieces rich in comedic value, this faux-documentary style of filmmaking has also been used in the production of horror and thriller movies.


10. Punishment Park (1971)

Filmmaker Peter Watkins created quite a name for himself upon the release of this film back in Vietnam era America. The film follows a group of supposed conscientious objectors travelling a desert wasteland environment partaking in a brutal endurance challenge as a result of their unwillingness to partake in the Asian conflict. As well as being extremely topical and making some rather bold statements on the war, the footage itself is taken remarkably well. Fusing the documentarian style with scenes of truly gripping drama and action alike- this is a hidden gem which you would do well to check out at some point.


9. A Mighty Wind (2003)

Following on from the near-perfection he achieved with his previous works in the same genre, satire legend Christopher Guest returned in 2003 with this piece centred on the reunion of three separate folk acts. Much in the same vein as his iconic ‘This is Spinal Tap’, ‘A Mighty Wind’ sees the director working once again with many of the same actors to create yet another side splitting insight into the obscure world of popular music. This is pretty much ‘Spinal Tap’ for the folk community, not exactly the most original or ground-breaking work- however still hilarious.


8. Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001)

For those who are fans of soccer, or even just British comedy- this is a must-see. Though not exactly the most eloquently written film, this is a piece true to the mockumentary genre. The narrative follows a small time club manager who, having achieved some success with his team- is offered the job of managing the English national side through their imminent World Cup campaign. Of course he accepts the job, leading the team on a turbulent journey through the qualifying stages and eventually onto the tournament finals in Brazil. You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it, decide for yourself- the whole movies up on YouTube!


7. Borat: Cultural Learning’s of American for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

Following on from his successful series of TV shows in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen went on to immortalise each of his main characters in film over the course of the next decade. Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakhstani journalist, made his big screen debut in this movie which is widely considered Cohen’s best to date. The film follows the journalist on his trip to the US, the mission of which is to learn the way of life and to generally promote a more healthy international relationship between the two nations. In a series of bizarre interview situations, Borat repeatedly freaks out everyone he comes across- making for some pure comedy gold.


6. Man Bites Dog (1992)

Jet black indie satire all the way from Belgium, Man Bites Dog is set around an investigative film crew and their interest in the exploits of a particularly charming, yet undoubtedly sociopathic serial killer. Shot in black and white and entirely in French, the piece oozes realism and comes across as gritty and intense as it does sophisticated and humorous. The inward psychology possessed by the piece is also worth noting, with the main protagonist posing more relevant questions than the documentarians tracking him.

One thought on “Top 10 Mockumentaries

  1. You should have included Woody Allen’s ‘Zelig’.Made in 1983,it ‘documents’ the life of a ‘human chameleon’ in the 1930s who changes appearance and manner to fit in with whomever he’s conversing.Made long before sophisticated CGI and Forrest Gump,it includes wonderful black and white footage of Zelig interacting with real 1930s celebrities and hilarious ‘talking head’ interviews.Great little film that lampoons the culture of that era and the need for conformity.

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