chapter  13
9 Pages

Documenting empowerment

WithAnne-Marie Green

Documentary film has a long history of raising awareness of injustice. This chapter explores how this creative form has been used to bring about change through informing and mobilising public opinion in Ireland to challenge Irish authorities on the crucial issue of accounting for maternal deaths. In an age of social media, documentaries can, more than ever, inform, empower and activate communities to campaign for change. The Irish films look at contemporary controversial issues in Irish society involving political decisions at national and European level affecting local communities. Through facilitating discussion after the showing of the documentary, local communities explore their thoughts and emotions provoked by the film and these forums can stimulate new ways of working to bring about change that the main campaign had not thought of. The documentary can leverage public outrage to force political awareness and ultimately bring about legal change.