Always a good time for documentaries

Here’s the class schedule for this fall’s documentary theory/history class.  This time we’re going to be more pointedly political, to see if we can’t start participating more effectively in democratic, critical and citizenly conversations.

TMA 293, Fall 2013: Documentary and Non-Fiction Film

Course Objective:

To watch and enjoy a lot of non-fiction films.  To consider the idea of the nonfiction film from its beginning to the present day; to explore a range of approaches, styles, institutions and individuals associated with the documentary idea; to consider some of the social, political and ethical issues that have informed the documentary, and that emerge out of the making and viewing of documentary films; finally, to consider how our own lives (as film makers, film critics, and simple citizens) are or ought to be informed and shaped by documentary sensibilities.

Required Texts:

Print:

Documentary, by Erik Barnouw, 2nd revised ed.

Introduction to Documentary, by Bill Nichols, 2nd ed.

On-line:

Encyclopedia of Human Rights, ed. David P. Forsythe, OUP, 2009

Encyclopedia of Politics, ed. Rodney P. Carlisle, Sage, 2005

Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Oxford Companion to the Politics of the World, 2nd ed., ed. Joel Krieger:, OUP, 2004

Week 1: THE DISCOURSE OF SOBRIETY/DOCS ARE FUN!

Screen: Please Vote for Me (2007)

Week 2: RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM & POLITICAL PLURALISM; SELF & OTHER

Screen: Control Room (2004)

Week 3: OPPOSITION IN ALL THINGS: INTEGRITY, ENMITY & DIALECTIC; “HOLD, AS ‘TWERE, A MIRROR UP TO NATURE”

Screen: Law and Order (1969)

Week 4: CAPITAL & COLLECTIVE: PRIVATE ENTERPRISE & PUBLIC WORKS 

Screen: The Living Desert (1953); Waiting for Fidel (1974)

Week 5: IDEALISM, REALISM, COLONIALISM; THE CREATIVE TREATMENT OF ACTUALITY

Screen: One Sixth of the World (1926); The Fog of War (2003)

Week 6: DEVELOPMENT & UNDERDEVELOPMENT; EXPOSITION, INVESTIGATION & IDEOLOGY

Screen: Harvest of Shame (1960)

Week 7MULTIPLY & REPLENISH; PEER REVIEW

Screen: The 11th Hour (2007)

Week 8: CONSERVATISIM & LIBERALISM: CINEMA VERITE

Screen: Chronicle of a Summer (1961); first film responses due

Week 9: RACE & CLASS & ACCESS; CHALLENGE FOR CHANGE

Screen: Circle of the Sun (1961); You Are On Indian Land (1969)

Week 10: THE PERSONAL VOICE

Screen: The Stories We Tell 

Week 11: HISTORY & EDUCATION, CITIZENSHIP & SUBJECT MATTER

Screen: Toute le Memoire du Monde (1956); The Act of Killing (2012)

Week 12: PERFORMANCE & THE AESTHETIC IMPULSE

Screen: Pina (2011)

Week 13: HYBRIDIZATION; AMERICAN THANKSGIVING

Screen: Strangers in Good Company (1990)

Week 14: LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY: THE INTEGRATION OF DOCUMENTARY MODES

Screen: Nostalgia for the Light (2010); last film responses due

Week 15: PROPAGANDA, ADVOCACY & TRUTH; NON-INSTITUTIONAL DOCUMENTARY 

Screen: Home Movies (2012); last political terms papers due

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