Telecommunications | Topical Seminar in Media & Society
T451 | 25948 | Bucy, E.

Film & Politics surveys the interesting (and growing) landscape of
movies about politics, exploring the meaning of film within a social
context. Beyond providing some form of entertainment, film should
illuminate and deepen our understanding of history, cultural myths,
critical events, and enduring problems that characterize the human
condition. As the textbook for this course observes, “in examining
the political role of films, we become real-time cultural
anthropologists, sifting through the artifacts of modern society to
determine what our culture really is all about.” Film should also be
understood as a form of media, with its own conventions,
repertoires, biases, and structural limitations. Throughout the
semester, different genres of political films are reviewed,
including movies that are explicitly and implicitly political,
politically oriented documentaries, and even political animations.
The main goals of this course are to cultivate a broad understanding
of the political themes and portrayals in popular films and
politically oriented documentaries; to assess how political films
shape our perceptions, attitudes, and collective memory; to
understand how film can function as a source of overt as well as
covert persuasion, if not propaganda; to develop a critical
appreciation for the evolving relationship between entertainment,
art, commerce, and politics; and, to connect filmic themes to
broader trends in culture and society. The textbook for this course
is Politics and Film by Daniel Franklin (Rowman & Littlefield,
2006). Additional required readings will be posted on the library’s
e-Reserve system.

To see which requirements, in the College of Arts and Sciences, this
course will fulfill consult the College Bulletin at
If you have questions, or need additional help, see your academic