15 Notable Documentaries With Fictional Characters


Is Bad Grandpa a documentary? That’s not easy to determine. There is definitely a lot of reality and real people involved in the new movie from Johnny Knoxville and the makers of Jackass (the films of which I’d say are without a doubt docs), but there’s also more fictional plot and character than truth. The documentary material is confined to a few shocked expressions in Candid Camera-type scenarios with the occasional longer moment involving genuine people.

For me, the conclusion lies in what the film means to show us. If it’s a statement about truth, then it’s a documentary. If it’s just an excuse for laughs with little insight into anything real or arguable, then it’s not. Bad Grandpa is mostly a fiction with some nonfiction people roped in, not unlike Forrest Gump only with newly shot rather than archival material.

To contrast it with more qualified examples, as in those with predominantly real situations, I decided to highlight some genuine documentaries centered around fictional characters devised to illustrate, provoke or prank the real world and real people.


Nonfics.com is the sister site of Film School Rejects focused on the world of non-fiction. From reality television to documentary movies and everything in between, if you love the stories of the real world, it's a site built for you.

Read More from Nonfics.com
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!