We are fast approaching the end of our year in Leadership. Soon you will doing your summative presentations. I didn’t want to add any extra work during this time so you can focus on getting your presentation as good as it can possibly be.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to present you with a bonus assignment. You are not compelled to complete this assignment. It will have no negative repercussions on your final grade; It can do nothing but help you. In the past, students who complete this assignment (and do it well) has seen their mark bumped up a couple of percent. It’s not a lot but sometimes a few marks are all the difference between a mark in the 80’s and a mark in the 90’s.
Anyway, here’s the assignment.
We’ve spent the last few weeks looking into organizations who are all devoted to making the world a better place, each in their own specific way. Whether it’s curing disease, helping those financially less fortunate, protecting animals and making the lives of children better, each of these organizations are doing their best to improve the current state of the world.
With that in mind, I want to look at a film by a director who has always claimed to be doing the same. Micheal Moore has used film documentaries to shed light on issues that he considers important. In Roger and Me, he explored poverty in his home town of Flint, Michigan. In The Big One, he attacked corporate greed. In Bowling for Columbine, he looked into gun control.
His films are often as controversial as they are popular. He is often attacked by critics are providing a very one-sided view on the issues he explores, skewing towards what has been called his ‘liberal agenda’. In addition, his tone is often criticized as too light and comedic, considering the very heavy issues he explores.
We’re going to take a look at his documentary Sicko, in which he takes on the American health care system. I want you to watch the film with both a compassionate and critical eye.
ASSIGNMENT: Write an extended journal entry about the film and Michael Moore’s approach to dealing with this important issue.
Here are some focus questions:
- How does Michael Moore use film to make the audience care about this issue? What kind of stories does he present? Who does he talk to?
- How does he insinuate himself into the film?
- What direct actions does he take to help people? Do you think the things he does are really helpful? Are they simply done to make him look good and provide entertainment?
- Is making a movie a practical approach to solving these problems?
You can hand this journal in at the same time you hand in your journal for your summative.