Overview of Course
In this globally-focused, upper level course, we will:
SEE a variety of films from several different cultural locations;
ANALYZE these “texts” within their sociopolitical, cultural, and historical “contexts”;
EVALUATE their social change impact and efficacy at raising awareness of specific issues, changing hearts and minds, or more direct political action; and
ARTICULATE ideas, reactions, and interpretations to film both orally and in writing.
This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which the medium of film participates in efforts towards social change across the global landscape. We will watch documentary films tied to the places we will visit on our Spring 2024 voyage.
Students in SPCM357 Film & Social Change will:
DISCOVER the ways in which the medium of film participates in efforts towards social change across the global landscape, exploring the relationship between artistic expression, culturally-specific context, societal impact, and political efficacy in films addressing social change;
EXAMINE the documentary film as a form of “intelligence work” (Kahana) in culture(s) and as a “social imaginary” (Taylor) that helps us “envision the collective consequences of our thoughts and actions” (Kahana);
APPRECIATE the methods of the documentary filmmaker, including conventions and techniques, ethics and politics;
UNDERSTAND the social contexts in and out of which documentary films emerge;
REFLECT on our learning and discoveries in short written responses on the ethics of representing self and other in documentary film; the role of art as activism; documentary and democracy in Asia and Africa; and the issue of race and racism in documentary film; and the “intelligence work” of the documentary film form.