Spring 2025 | Asia, Africa, and Europe Exploration

LB 456 Documentary Film as a Liberal Art

Overview of Course

Students will view entire films or selected segments of thought-provoking documentaries related to voyage ports or key international issues (via the ship’s closed-circuit television system in cabins or in class) to sharpen your critical assessment of how individuals, cultures, and events are depicted in these documentaries. During class sessions we will view key highlights of these films to analyze a variety of documentary genres and discuss the varied roles of the documentary producer as a historian, explorer, social activist, entertainer, muckraker, journalist, and creative troublemaker.
Students will document a port city during the voyage selected for the course field class in still photos and video segments. Each student will also select a universal cultural theme (e.g., family, work, play, learning, faith, etc.,) and record brief video clips on the selected theme in multiple ports using a mobile phone or digital camera. These will be edited into a mini-documentary on the selected theme to be shown in class near the end of the voyage. These mini-docs will also be submitted to Semester at Sea for possible inclusion on the SAS website. This will be a stimulating semester in viewing, producing, and discussing films which will enhance your perceptions of the diverse world in which we live.