Admission is always free Directions
Open today: 11:00 to 6:00

Serious Games: Documentary Art between Fact and Fiction

September 7 – 28

Various cinematic genres and movements over the years have laid claim to truth in cinema — the actualités of the Lumière brothers, Kino-Pravda espoused by Dziga Vertov, the “ethnofiction” anthropological films of Jean Rouch, and the “ecstatic truth” of Werner Herzog’s documentaries are but a few examples. Although the documentary is still a viable cinematic genre, many filmmakers have now expanded the range of their practice to create works that cross between art and anthropology, documentary and fiction, education and entertainment, and galleries and movie theaters. Serious Games: Documentary Art between Fact and Fiction explores a cross section of documentary practice by German filmmakers and artists focusing on the subject of war and conflict. Blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction, these works also demonstrate the fluidity of exhibition practice between the black box of the cinema and the white cube of the gallery. Presented in association with Goethe-Institut Washington, with special thanks to Zach Feldman for organizing the program.

still from November (2004)
courtesy Hito Steyerl

Film Programs

The National Gallery of Art’s film program provides many opportunities throughout the year to view classic and contemporary cinema from around the world.

View the current schedule here.

Visitor Information


Get updates on what’s happening at the Gallery, from exhibitions and lectures to family programs and more. Sign up.