Can someone explain to me what vrit stands for, please? I can't find it in any dictionary.

The Interventionists is a half-hour vrit documentary that follows the days and nights of a unique mental-health crisis team.

Frederick Wiseman's no-holds-barred look at the horrors inside a prison for the criminally insane set the standard for vrit indictments, and not even a 24-year ban on public screenings stopped Wiseman from forcing accountability.

  • 1
    Urban Dictionary has a definition but it doesn't mean much to me.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 15, 2019 at 19:59
  • Also found "Forty-five years later, it remains a high mark for employing vrit styles to construct something much more perverse and profound than your typical cautionary tale." Jun 15, 2019 at 20:14
  • 2
    All of these seem to be connected with film making. Maybe it is a corruption of Cinéma vérité ? Jun 15, 2019 at 20:17
  • 2
    "Virtual reality immersive technology"? Is it watched on a VR headset so you can choose your own camera view? Where is your source from? "Documentary" normally implies a TV show or film, but if your source is a flyer for an art exhibition, this might have a different meaning.
    – Pam
    Jun 15, 2019 at 20:37
  • 2
    Ah, you’re right @Cascabel, much older. I thought it might be a ret-con since these style of film are somewhat immersive, but it’s certainly not virtual. I also wondered if it was an OCR error or a typo. The removal of the accented e does make it look like a font mistake....
    – Pam
    Jun 15, 2019 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


This is fascinating.

I believe this is talking about Cinéma Vérité, but the websites are unable to produce an e with the acute accent on top of it. Because of this, the text is written as if the letters don't exist:

vérité → vrit

Perhaps the best argument for this is the Amazon Canada page for the book Cinema Vérité by Denis Mortenson. While the picture of the book cover clearly shows the correct accents, the plain-text title shows "Cinema Vrit Paperback – Apr 1 2003," and the description of the book says that "Cinema V©rit© explores the depth of what love will endure."

Cinema Vérité

The Wikipedia page for Frederick Wiseman includes this quote:

What I try to do is edit the films so that they will have a dramatic structure. That is why I object to some extent to the term "observational cinema" or cinéma vérité, because observational cinema, to me at least, connotes just hanging around with one thing being as valuable as another, and that is not true. At least, that is not true for me, and cinéma verité is just a pompous French term that has absolutely no meaning as far as I'm concerned.

In short, there is no such thing as vrit. It's simply some websites not producing the characters that they should be. (Ironically, you'd think that Amazon Canada, one of the largest retailers for the bilingual country, would have a website that could properly produce French accents.)

  • 4
    +1 nice research. I was gonna post an answer, but this was much better than I would have done. Jun 15, 2019 at 21:38
  • 4
    Although I didn't mention it in my answer, I started to get really suspicious when I saw the phrase cinma vrit and thought to myself there was no way that cinma could be right. That Amazon page was a great find. ;) Jun 15, 2019 at 21:39
  • 6
    V©rit© is mojibake. If you entered é in UTF-8, its byte values would be C3 A9. In the default 8-bit encoding, all characters are assumed to be only one byte long, and A9 encodes to ©. You will also often see ©, but the C3 byte is being dropped due to some bug on UTF-8 input.
    – Davislor
    Jun 16, 2019 at 3:58
  • 1
    See also the similar revealingerrors.com/medireview
    – abligh
    Jun 16, 2019 at 10:08
  • 6
    You have entered into the realm, per Wikipedia, of the frustratingly common and sometimes even comical: “Mojibake (文字化け; IPA: [mod͡ʑibake]) is the garbled text that is the result of text being decoded using an unintended character encoding. The result is a systematic replacement of symbols with completely unrelated ones, often from a different writing system.”
    – tchrist
    Jun 16, 2019 at 12:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.