A lot of time in class, and in the books we are supposed to read for class, has been spent trying to determine what criteria a film has to fit into to be a documentary, and , if it is considered a documentary, what type of documentary that film is. I have come to one conclusion: It depends on who's giving their opinion.
Many film makers feel that what they have made is a documentary, even if others do not see it that way. Even though "Nanook of the North" (1922) and other films have used re-enactments and may be scripted, doesn't mean that it can't be a documentary. The people that have made these films, and many people who have seen them, consider them documentaries, even if not everyone agrees.
Many people think that Michael Moore is a propagandist, but many others would consider him an activist. He has stated many times that in "Bowling for Columbine" (2002), he was calling for gun law reform. That would make it an advocacy documentary, not a piece of propaganda. Again, it depends on personal opinion.
My point is this: even though everyone may not agree, as long as some people do, and the film maker says it is, it is a documentary. Even if it is not a good one, or it is an inaccurate one, doesn't mean that it's not one. Just like everything else, it is up to the viewer to find out if the information that they are being given in something they are watching is correct. The news can have inaccuracies, books can have inaccuracies, everything can. Just because it is a documentary, doesn't mean that the information in it should be taken at face value. And just because the film is not completely accurate, or is scripted, or contains reenactments, doesn't mean it isn't a documentary either. Whether something is or isn't a documentary is in the eye of the beholder.