Tu/W/Th 03:00-05:30 223 Dwinelle Instructor: Irina Popescu

Session D:   July 3rd-August 11th

Global Cinema and Human Rights

What are human rights? How did this concept begin and where? How can film engage with human rights as a discourse and a practice? In this course, we will be viewing films from all over the world that deal with human rights issues prevailing in the 20-21 st centuries. We will explore how film engages with human rights issues and discourses around the globe. We will look at documentaries, short films, and even Oscar winning films to better understand how film genres define and illuminate human rights issues around the world. In addition to the films, we will also read several historical and critical theory pieces in order to aid our understanding of the films and their connection to human rights theory and practice in contemporary society. We will cover a variety of topics from crimes against humanity, immigration, race, and sexual identity.

This course will revolve around the following questions:

 How does film take up history?

 How can film act as a stand in for history during periods of silence and repression?

 How can we read the documentary feature?

 Through which mechanisms, formal or otherwise, does film grapple with periods in history overwrought by human rights abuses?

 How are these “stories” told, who tells them, why, to what end, for what audience?

 What is the relationship between fiction and non-fiction in the non-documentary features we will be watching?

Films may include: District 9 (South Africa), Made in LA (USA), La Historia Oficial (Argentina), El Norte (USA/Mexico/Guatemala), Night and Fog (France), and other short films and documentaries from around the globe.