|Module title||Human Rights In Documentary Cinema|
|Module lecturer||Prof. Grzegorz Ziółkowski|
|Lecturer position||Prof. UAM dr hab.|
|Faculty||Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology|
- Classes: Tuesdays, 3:15–6:30 pm
- The classes begin on Tuesday, 11 October, at 3:15 pm
- Office hours: Tuesdays, 6:45–7:45 pm
- Place: The Theatre Studio in Collegium Maius, 10 Fredry str. (entrance from the library hall, behind the main building, from Kowalczyka lane)
Module aim (aims)
The course aims to teach how to:
- carry out in-depth studies of contemporary documentary filmmaking on human rights violations
- investigate selected cases in their cultural, economic, historical, political and religious contexts
- analyse and interpret creative outputs of leading contemporary documentary cineastes
- scrutinise selected problem areas, select cases, critically assess materials related to them and share findings in the framework of group presentations or individual or pair essays.
Students are assessed on the base of their:
- attendance (30% of the grade)
- active participation in class discussions (30% of the grade)
- a written test on subjects discussed during the course (15% of the grade)
- a 20-slides group presentation or a 2,000-word essay written in pairs (25% of the grade).
- 90–100% = 5 / A
- 85–89% = 4,5 / B
- 75–84% = 4 / C
- 70–74% = 3,5 / D
- 60–69% = 3 / E
- 0–59% = 2 / F
- meeting deadlines
- level of preparation for consultations
- quality of a group presentation (approach to the subject matter, distribution of workload within the group, collaboration with others, language precision, selection of iconography, graphic design)
- quality of a pair essay (approach to the subject matter, language precision, writing style, text composition and formatting, respecting word limit).
Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)
Genuine interest in human rights and contemporary documentary films devoted to them.
English language competence: at least B2 level (upper intermediate).
Classes # 1 & 2: Introductory meeting & Guidelines for students’ works
Presentation of the course’s aims, methodology, programme, outcomes and assessment criteria. Guidelines for students’ works.
Classes # 3 & 4: Human rights: an overview
Human rights in historical perspective (lecture) and in relation to climate change (discussion). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights workshop.
Class # 5 & 6: Protesting abuses
Dear Future Children (2021), dir. Franz Böhm: discussion. The Forensic Architecture’s investigation Tear Gas in Plaza de la Dignidad. Self-burnings and self-immolations as vehicles of protest: historical, political, religious and social contexts. Ask No Questions (2020), dir. Jason Loftus and Eric Pedicelli: analysis and interpretation.
Classes # 7 & 8: Film documentaries & Ethical dimension of human rights docs
Glossary. Towards a definition of documentary film. Animation film Silence (1998), dir. Sylvie Bringas and Orly Yadin. Elements of documentary film poetics. Film documentaries typology with human rights docs examples. Ethical dimension of human rights docs with references to: Susan Sontag’s essay Regarding the Pain of Others (2003), the concept of ‘post-traumatic cinema’ as presented in a monograph Killer Images (2012), and Jill Godmillow’s term ‘pornography of the real’. Diana Taylor’s term ‘artivism’. Why do people make and watch human rights documentaries: discussion.
Classes # 9 & 10: War atrocities
The civil/proxy war in Syria (since 2011) and its representations in For Sama (2019), dir. (pseud.) Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts and Notturno (2020), dir. Gianfranco Rossi.
Classes # 11 & 12: Racism & Cultural genocide
Contexts, analysis and interpretation of I Am Not Your Negro (2016), dir. Raoul Peck; and The Road Forward (2017), dir. Marie Clements.
Classes # 13 & 14: Mass killings
The ‘Cold War’ overview. The 1965–66 Indonesian mass killings in historical and political contexts. The filmography on the subject matter. Joshua Oppenheimer’s creative biography and Globalisation Tapes (2002). The Act of Killing (2012), dir. Joshua Oppenheimer, co-dir. Christine Cynn and Anonymous and The Look of Silence (2014), dir. Joshua Oppenheimer: analysis and interpretation.
Classes # 15 & 16: Torture and forced disappearances
The 1973 Chilean military coup and its repercussions in historical and political contexts. The filmography on the subject matter. Patricio Guzmán’s essay film triptych on the long-term consequences of the golpe. Analysis and interpretation of Nostalgia for the Light (2010), dir. Patricio Guzmán; and Adriana’s Pact (2017), dir. Lissette Orozco.
Classes # 17 & 18: Religious sectarianism and pedophilia
The ‘Colonia Dignidad’, a horrendous German enclave in Chile, in historical and political contexts. Film confrontations with the sinister commune. Songs of Repression (2020), dir. Marianne Hougen-Moraga and Estephan Wagner: analysis and interpretation.
Classes # 19 & 20: Political and class genocide
The 1975–79 Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia in historical and political contexts. The aftermath of the genocide as represented in Rithy Panh’s creative oeuvre. Analysis and interpretation of The Missing Picture (2013), dir. Rithy Panh.
Classes # 21 & 22: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) & Women’s sexual slavery
Contexts, analysis and interpretation of A Pinch of Skin (2012), dir. Priya Goswami; and Twenty-Two (2015), dir. Ke Guo.
Classes # 23 & 24: Forced child marriages & Reproduction rights
Contexts, analysis and interpretation of Sonita (2016), dir. Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami; and Fly So Far (2020), dir. Celina Escher.
Classes # 25 & 26: Migrants rights & Sexual minorities rights
Les Sauteurs (2016), dir. Abou Bakar Sidibé, Moritz Siebert and Estephan Wagner: analysis and interpretation. The Forensic Architecture’s investigation Pushbacks in Melilla: ND and NT v. Spain (2015–20). Contexts, analysis and interpretation of Welcome to Chechnya (2020), dir. David France.
Classes # 27 & 28: Students’ presentations
Students’ group presentations contemporary film documentarians’ representation of human rights abuses. Discussion.
Classes # 29 & 30: Students’ essays & Test & Summary and feedback
Students’ pair essays on contemporary film documentarians’ representation of human rights abuses. Discussion. Test. Summary and feedback.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights: https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ or https://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/pdf/udhr_booklet_en_web.pdf.
- Ziółkowski, Grzegorz. A Cruel Theatre of Self-Immolations: Suicide Protests by Fire and Their Resonances in Culture, Routledge, 2020, pp. 67–69.
- Mincheva, Dilyana. “Cinematic Islamic Feminism and the Female War Gaze: Reflections on Waad Al-Kateab’s ‘For Sama’.” Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, no. 20, 2020, pp. 54–70.
- Jefferson, Teddy. “After Isis: From the Unspeakable to the Unknowable: ‘Notturno’, a Documentary by Gianfranco Rossi.” Witty Partition, issue 14, Fall 2021: https://archive-vol-ii.weebly.com/notturno.html.
- Behlil, Melis. “The Act of Killing: An Interview with Joshua Oppenheimer.” Cineaste, vol. 38, no. 3, 2013, pp. 26–31.
- Behlil, Melis. “The Look of Silence: An Interview with Joshua Oppenheimer and Adi Rukun.” Cineaste, vol. 40, no. 3, 2015, pp. 26–31.
- Guest, Haden. “Ad Astra per Aspera: An Interview with Patricio Guzmán.” Cineaste, vol. 36, no. 3, 2011, pp. 20–25.
- Canet, Fernando. “Documenting the Legacies of the Chilean Dictatorship: Questioning the Family Relationship in the Documentary Films El pacto de Adriana and El color del camaleón.” International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 125–142.
- Ziółkowski, Grzegorz. “Documentary Filmmakers Confront Trauma: An Interview with Marianne Hougen-Moraga and Estephan Wagner.” Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, vol. 11, no. 3, 2021, pp. 267–282.
- Boyle, Deidre. “Finding the Missing Picture: The Films of Rithy Panh.” Cineaste, vol. 39, no. 3, 2014, pp. 28–32.
- Boyle, Deidre. “On a Morality of Filming: Conversation with Rithy Panh.” Cineaction, no. 97, 2016, pp. 39–44.
- Ball, Anna. “A Conflict of Values: Redirecting Agency in Sonita.” Ball, Anna. Forced Migration in the Feminist Imagination: Transcultural Movements. Routledge, 2022, pp. 81–90.
- Dear Future Children (2021), dir. Franz Böhm.
- Ask No Questions (2020), dir. Jason Loftus and Eric Pedicelli.
- Silence (1998), dir. Sylvie Bringas and Orly Yadin.
- For Sama (2019), dir. (pseud.) Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts.
- Notturno (2020), dir. Gianfranco Rosi.
- I Am Not Your Negro (2016), dir. Raoul Peck.
- The Road Forward (2017), dir. Marie Clements.
- The Act of Killing (2012), dir. Joshua Oppenheimer, co-dir. Christine Cynn and Anonymous.
- The Look of Silence (2014), dir. Joshua Oppenheimer.
- Nostalgia for the Light (2010), dir. Patricio Guzmán.
- Adriana’s Pact (2017), dir. Lissette Orozco.
- Songs of Repression (2020), dir. Marianne Hougen-Moraga and Estephan Wagner.
- The Missing Picture (2013), dir. Rithy Panh.
- A Pinch of Skin (2012), dir. Priya Goswami.
- Twenty-Two (2015), dir. Ke Guo.
- Sonita (2016), dir. Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami.
- Fly So Far (2020), dir. Celina Escher.
- Les Sauteurs (2016), dir. Abou Bakar Sidibé, Moritz Siebert and Estephan Wagner.
- Welcome to Chechnya (2020), dir. David France.