Explores the social impact of cinema

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Essay length: 8-10 pages.
Answer one of the following three essay questions. Support your analysis with specific examples from at least three films (one screened in-class and/or comparison films, and two additional films from the list provided), as well as references to class readings. Properly cite all your sources on a separate page at the end.
This course explores the social impact of cinema –ways in which films (both narrative and documentary) engage with complex social and political issues and address some of the most pressing global problems of our time. By this point in our class, we have studied the ways in which cinema engages/sheds light upon environmental issues, as well as issues of war and peace, and national security and terrorism.
Write an 8-10 pages essay on one of the following questions.
1. Watch two documentaries about environmental issues, from the list provided. Compare and contrast these films with a film seen in class (Virunga or Chasing Ice) in terms of story structure/point of view, message of the films, and strategies used by the filmmakers for social impact on local/regional/global levels. What impact have these films had? Use specific examples from the films, including discussion of key scene(s). Documentaries to choose from: Before the Flood, Chasing Coral, Trashed, No Impact Man, An Inconvenient Truth, Cowspiracy, Earth Ships.
2. Watch two documentaries about issues of war/peace, from the list provided. Compare and contrast these films with a film seen in class (The Act of Killing, The Square, Disturbing the Peace, The Interrupters) in terms of story structure/point of view, message of the films, and strategies used by the filmmakers for social impact on local/regional/global levels.Use specific examples from the films, including discussion of key scene(s). Films to choose from: Restrepo, Taxi to the Dark Side, Hell and Back Again, Iraq in Fragments, Encounter Point, Peace Officer, Beyond the Divide, Rooted in Peace, Promises.
3. Watch two documentaries about issues of war/peace, from the list provided. Compare and contrast these films with a film seen in class (Audrie and Daisy, A Girl in the River). What insights do films provide us into gender structures and dynamics? How does film illustrate both gender inequalities/subjugation of women and also the movement to disrupt/shift these structures of inequality? Compare and contrast these films in terms of story structure/point of view, message of the films, and strategies used by the filmmakers for social impact on local/regional/global levels. What social impact have these films had? Use specific examples from the films, including discussion of key scene(s). Films to choose from: Finding Home, Queen Mimi, The Hunting Ground, 13th, Miss Representation, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.

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