Analytical Movie Review

Each students will choose one movie out of the list of six provided below. After viewing the movie, students are to write a short essay that answers one basic question: “Which theoretical approach underlies or is represented by this movie?” In order to answer this question, you must use specific quotes and examples from the movie.

Keep in mind that this is not a review of a movie in terms of how good you think it is. The quality of the movie is not part of this assignment. Rather, you are to analyse the movie in terms of which theoretical approach or lens it reflects and to back up your opinion with evidence from the movie and the readings. You are to demonstrate a clear understanding of the different theoretical approaches we have discussed in the course.

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The analytical movie review builds upon the wikipages in terms of student learning. While the wikipages helped you learn basic terms and concepts in IR (LO1), the analytical movie review is designed to help you learn how to identify, analyze and evaluate different ways of understanding global politics (LO2). Each of these movies has been selected because they speak directly to a problem in global politics and because they present a clear perspective on how they understand the exact nature of that problem, the actors involved in the problem, and the solution to the problem. This assignment also helps you to further develop your communication skills, particularly your writing skills (LO5), most especially your ability to formulate, develop and back-up and argument (LO4).

Your analytical movie review should be 3 to 5 pages long (double spaced, regular margins) and should include the following elements:

An introduction that briefly introduces the movie and ends with a clearly stated thesis statement or argument
A theoretical section that outlines the one theoretical approach that is of significance to your movie.
An analytical section that discusses the relationship between the movie and the theoretical approach. What evidence can you provide to demonstrated or prove your argument? Your evidence should include direct quotes from the movie and references to your theory.
A conclusion that summarizes your discussion and offers your final thoughts on how the movie has enhanced your understanding of global politics.

This is an analytical assignment and that you should, therefore, avoid using personal opinion statements like “I think…” or ” I believe…” or ” I liked…”. Your analytical movie review should be written in a formal style and avoid the use of personal pronouns.

List of Movies for your Analytical Movie Review:

You must choose one of the following films for your movie review. All of these films can be streamed online at the links below.

Fog of War (Sony Pictures, 2003). A compelling documentary about America’s participation in the Vietnam War (1954-1975). The film is available to stream from the University of Guelph library website (located in the Criterion collection). It has been put on the course reserves list, which you can access here: Full List – POLS1500 – Fall 2020 – Ares Course Reserve Items
Zero Days (Magnolia Pictures, 2016). A documentary on cyber warfare between the USA, Israel and Iran. Here is a link to the film: Zero Days
Outbreak (PBS Frontline 2015). A documentary about the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Here is a link to the film: Outbreak
The Great Hack (Netflix 2019). This documentary focuses on the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal. It is available to watch on Netflix.
The End of Poverty (Cinema Libre Studio 2008). The film examines the historical origins, causes and consequences of global inequality. Here is a link to the film: The End of Poverty
Hair India (Al Jazeera, 2008). The documentary is about the journey of a young woman’s hair that was donated to the Temple, converted into hair extensions for the rich and famous in Italy, and sold in major capitols of the world. Here is a link to the film: Hair India

Please check – and double-check – to ensure that you have included each of these elements in your analytical book review:

A title page that includes the movie review’s title, and total word count;
12-point Times New Roman font;
Include page numbers;
Correct essay structure: an introduction with a clear argument, an essay body that is divided into appropriate sections, and a conclusion.

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