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Recreating Reality: Waltz With Bashir, Persepolis, and the Documentary Genre

Abstract

This paper examines Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir (2008) and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis (2007) to elucidate how artists, distributors, and audiences shape and define the porous boundaries of the documentary genre, and how such perceptions are shaped within a digital context. By analyzing how each film represents reality; that is, how documentaries attempt to represent the real world, this paper explores the elements of performativity within animated documentary as a reflection of both the growing fluidity of the documentary genre and the instability of the indexical in a digital age. In a digital context, where the “real” can be manufactured at an increasing rate, stronger skepticism and cynicism push the documentary genre towards more subjective explorations, with animated documentaries serving as a key example of how genre distinctions have fluctuated in response

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