FX on Hulu's Framing Britney Spears and HBO's recent docuseries on Woody Allen join a string of documentaries in recent years, including Surviving R. Kelly and the Michael Jackson-focused Leaving Neverland, that have had an outsized impact. "Not only can these projects change public opinion about A-list stars in a variety of ways, but they have resulted in consequences that not even the creators expected," says The Washington Post's Emily Yahr. The filmmakers behind Framing Britney Spears were taken aback -- and gratified -- by the intense response last month to their documentary. “My biggest fear going into it was that people were going to interpret archival videos as a way to make fun of her and say she was crazy. I had a pessimistic viewpoint,” says Framing Britney director Samantha Stark. “Then the opposite happened.” Amy Ziering, who co-directed Allen v. Farrow, tells Yahr that she thinks these documentaries have made an impact because we now live in a culture so increasingly saturated with news and alerts and social media updates that documentaries can serve as a 90-minute break to intensely focus on just one topic. "Documentaries are this refuge from all the clatter," says Ziering. "And there’s something very powerful … about how you really get to take an emotional journey. It’s a combination of information and emotions that make you more open to a deeper kind of reflection.” Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed, who caused a backlash among Michael Jackson fans when the film was released two years ago, says his documentary really “really sort of caused a cultural convulsion." He adds that many viewers saw the bigger picture of how a powerful, trusted individual can harm children. "There were howls of protest from Jackson fans, but it was never really about Jackson," says Reed, adding that many people saw his documentary and used as it motivation to confront their own abusers.