A mondo film is a subgenre of exploitation films and documentary films. Many mondo films are made in a way to resemble a pseudo-documentary and usually depicting sensational topics, scenes, or situations. Common traits of mondo films include portrayals of foreign cultures (which have drawn accusations of ethnocentrism or racism), an emphasis on taboo subjects such as death and sex, and staged sequences presented as genuine documentary footage. Over time, the films placed increasing emphasis on footage of the dead and dying (both real and fake). The term shockumentary is also used to describe the genre. The term "mondo" is derived from the Italian word for "world". The genre is also noted for the graphic footage of death and deceased people often shown in many such films, leading to the popular nickname of "death film".
Mondo films began to soar in popularity in the 1960s with the release of Mondo Cane (1962), Women of the World (1963) and Africa Addio (1966). The genre arguably reached its peak with Faces of Death in 1978, a film that inspired a myriad of imitators, such as the Traces of Death series, Banned from Television, Death Scenes and The Faces of Gore series.
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