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Monday, August 14, 2006

Film class selections

As I've previously mentioned, I'm teaching "(Global) Politics Through Film" this semester for the first time. For months, I've been trying to select the appropriate movies. Kudos to various readers for making suggestions -- and please accept my apologies for not selecting all films that were recommended. There were simply too many good possibilities.

Given that classes begin a week from tomorrow, this list is final, though the order could change a bit as I tweak the syllabus:

I. Realist view of world politics: the role of states, the importance of fear and violence in international political life, and the alleged "tragedy of great power politics."
Twelve O'Clock High
Saving Private Ryan

II. Nationalism, idealism and internationalism
The Quiet American
Black Hawk Down
Breaker Morant
Red Dawn

III. Critical perspectives: comedy and critique
The Great Dictator
Wag the Dog
Dr. Strangelove

IV. Human security
The Whale Rider
Hotel Rwanda

You can probably tell from my list that I decided to screen primarily good (or even great) films. I decided to avoid, for the most part anyway, truly bad cinema.

My syllabus includes this disclaimer:
Many of the films are rated R and “feature” crude language, intense scenes of violence and naked human bodies. If that offends you, then please do not remain in the class.
Let me know if you think that should be reworked.

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