Lights, Camera, Take Action: Impact Of Film On Public Opinion And Policy Regarding Capital Punishment And Hiv/Aids




Ashworth, Emily

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Film reflects the values and struggles of a generation, but films can also spread awareness about social issues that can affect change. In this thesis, I explore how certain films, both theatrical and documentary, can have an impact on public opinion, which can, in turn, result in the policy changes to address social issues. Two controversial social issues I discuss are capital punishment and the HIV/AIDS crisis. Both issues have been topics of major discussion and debate in recent history and have led to the proposal of a fair amount of legislation. An influencer of public opinion is Hollywood and the films it releases. Whether these films are based on true events or fictionalized accounts, movies often get people talking about topics and ideas they might otherwise not address. The question I want to answer in my thesis is how has film influenced society’s perceptions of capital punishment and the HIV/AIDS crisis?



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