This course introduces students from all academic majors to the socio-political significance and artistic merits of film through screenings of acclaimed, international features and documentaries, class discussions, and workshops with award-winning filmmakers. The films are presented in conjunction with the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival, a project of The Humanities Center, and focus on a different annual theme that addresses a current social issue. Each film in the festival lineup highlights global issues that are often hidden from mainstream media reporting.
This course provides the rare opportunity to engage directly with the filmmakers, offering the chance to expand on the film’s controversial, global themes and learn more about the filmmaking industry and artistic process. Through viewing the films and learning of the filmmakers’ firsthand accounts, the students will hone their critical thinking skills and learn to read the mainstream media with a more discerning eye. Each student will translate the films’ themes, directors’ perspectives, class discussions and their own cultural backgrounds and personal experiences into a final written analysis as part of the pass/fail component of the course.