Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2014


cinema, film, rockumentary


Rockumentaries are, generally speaking, documentary films about rock music and related idioms, and usually feature some combination of performance footage, interviews, and undirected material. The genre arrived when it did because of the profile of rock music within youth culture and the transformation of the music industry, and it was delivered to the screen with tools and technology newly available to filmmakers at the time. Rockumentary emerges in the 1960s as part of a larger shift in the character and content of Western youth culture and popular music and ascends to the status of the theatrical documentary par excellence through the latter part of the 1960s and the 1970s before a period of relative decline in the 1980s. Through the 2000s, however, there is mounting evidence that the widespread availability and ease-of-use of digital media technologies, combined with the exponential growth of new media platforms for the distribution and exhibition of work, is reinvigorating the rockumentary genre and reconnecting it with mainstream audiences. We might understand this moment as the rockumentary renaissance.


Reprinted with permission of the publisher


Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences


School of Humanities and Creativity




Publisher's version

Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Baker, M. (2014). Notes on the rockumentary renaissance. Cinephile, 10(1), 5-10.