Documentary functions: the uses of documents in non-fictional texts Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2020

start page

  • 63

end page

  • 69


  • 1


  • 36

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1472-586X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1472-5878


  • Among the phenomena that define the spirit of our times, there is a growing tendency towards the registration and storage of data. Included within this phenomenon that some theorists call documentary inflation, the current spotlight on non-fictional narratives gives intelligibility to data and documents. Using some examples taken from documentary cinema as its basis, this article proposes a typology of the uses (or functions) of documents. Four different documentary functions are defined and articulated starting from the logical opposition between syntagmatic and paradigmatic: narrative, referential, systemic and revealing.