This chapter presents an overview of the study of both a response to the developments of Anglophone screen documentary and contributions made to them. It pursues a critical inquiry into some recent instances of screen documentary, and the uses and possibilities that they offer audiences. The primary concern of the study is on mainstream British and American screen material, although it does also offer a case study of British viewers watching a French film. It explores not only documentary texts, but also some of the commercial, discursive and social contexts in which they circulate and are watched, and the expectations and responses of some of their audiences. Case studies focus on the interfaces between textual mechanisms, promotional tactics and audiences' viewing strategies. Topics such as film and televisual form; the cognitive, sensory and emotional rewards of watching documentary are also discussed in the study along with issues of trust and documentary ethics.
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