Definition of semi-documentary in English:



  • (of a film) having a factual background and a fictitious story.

    • ‘The semi-documentary movie traces the odyssey of a young Minnesotan who journeys to Roswell for the annual alien festival.’
    • ‘Originating from a New York café conversation Marston had with a former mule, the film has a semi-documentary feel and projects the authenticity of careful research.’
    • ‘In order to salute the real-life equivalents of its subjects, the film affects a semi-documentary style, casts character actresses rather than stars in the leads, and uses genuine military personnel as walk-ons.’
    • ‘The result is an exhilarating, energetic film combining a semi-documentary feel with an exceptionally high standard of acting.’
    • ‘Experimental, semi-documentary film, showing London's East End through the lives of two deaf-mutes.’


  • A semi-documentary film.

    • ‘An experimental film shot on a digital video camera, it's a semi-documentary on the life of Indonesian poet Kadir.’
    • ‘Its strong simple story is interwoven with elliptical, semi-documentary still shots of life in the desert and portraits of our beautiful characters.’
    • ‘His fiction films (as opposed to certain of his documentaries or semi-documentaries) are rather pale and weak as a result.’
    • ‘The film is variously described as drama-documentary, semi-documentary, neo-realist and all variations in between.’
    • ‘A semi-documentary about the Algerian revolution against French rule, and the harsh but effective measures employed by the French to crush the resistance.’