Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A12. The World on a Screen

People across the world just love the movies and invest enormous amounts of psychic energy viewing completely fabricated stories about imaginary people’s lives. Is this just something that people do because they’ve got the time and money and nothing better to do? Or is watching movies a necessity in modern society; something we do to make sense of the communities of strangers that we now are compelled to inhabit? Do the movies we watch across the world tell the same kinds of stories or completely different ones? How important are a people’s historical experience in informing the kinds of films they want to watch and make? Are indigenous filmmaking traditions flourishing or in decline? Are films from different countries becoming more alike or unalike? How useful, in the end, is it for us to appreciate films from around the world as social and cultural documents? This course will explore these and other questions by viewing films, from five very different societies: Argentina, India, Ireland, Israel/Palestine, and Iran.

John GradyJohn Grady
Professor of Sociology