ABSTRACT. The following paper brings into discussion notions of reality and fiction in Orson Welles’s unfinished pan-American documentary It’s all true, with a focus on two of the episodes which survived the project – Four men on a raft and The Carnival. Considering the definition of documentary filmmaking in John Grierson’s terms as “the creative interpretation of reality” (Grierson; cf. Ward 2006: 6), we will discuss the extent to which political interventions had a say in Orson Welles’s project, Welles’s use of Robert Flaherty’s concept of non-preconception to depict reality, and aspects of recognition, namely samba and Candomblé as Brazilian national realities reinterpreted as fiction.

Key words: Orson Welles; fiction; documentary film; non-preconception; identity; political intervention

Nițu C (2021) Orson Welles: reality and fiction in the documentary It’s all true. Creativity 4(2): 173–209. doi:10.22381/C4220213

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University of Bucharest,
Faculty of Letters;
Bucharest, Romania

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