Media and Metanoia: Documentary ‘Impact’ Through the Lens of Conversion

By Pamela Calvert

This paper considers case studies of three documentaries in terms of what new insights a conversion perspective brings to an understanding of their immediate and long-term impact. To do so, a range of research methods and data-gathering tools are employed: scholarly publications, memoirs, outreach materials, websites, video records of public events, and personal interviews.

The three examples of outreach efforts for social documentaries illustrate the author’s argument that outreach efficacy can be evaluated as a change in belief, using literature from religious studies.