You will write four documentary analyses, two in each term. Altogether, we will be viewing five documentaries, so you have a choice as to which two documentaries you want to focus on.
The documentary analysis assignment will be a 500 word paper, where you will discuss an issue raised in a documentary viewed in class. To build your discussion, you will use your lecture notes, along with one assigned reading from the weeks associated with the screenings.
The documentary analysis is due the week following the last screening of the documentary of your choice, as indicated in the syllabus.
The assignment is due at the beginning of lecture. You should bring a hardcopy for your TA and upload an electronic copy on Moodle.
In order to complete this exercise you must carry out the following tasks:
- Watch the film carefully – taking notes as you watch of points of interest.
- Briefly summarize the main issues raised in the film, using particular scenes to illustrate those issues.
- Read your source and lecture notes carefully. Identify key arguments and concepts, as these will be needed for constructing your analysis.
Writing the Analysis:
- Identify one issue that you want to focus on and briefly explain its importance in the film. (2 sentences max).
- Briefly state the key theses in your sources and communicate their relevance to the film. (2 sentences max).
- Interpret the film’s issues through the reading and your lecture notes. Ask yourself the following questions: what tools does the reading give us to better understand the issue raised in the film? How do they connect with the concepts explored in lecture? How might the author of the reading respond to the film? Would the author agrees with the portrayal of the issues, disagree, or partially agrees/disagrees (for instance, by saying it is an incomplete account of the issue, or somewhat inaccurate)?
- Offer a brief conclusion by summarizing the most important aspect of your analysis. (2 sentences max).