The School That Turned Chinese

The School That Turned Chinese

Film Forum Overview: In this assignment, you will participate in a role-play game connected to a documentary film that you have already watched prior to coming to class. Following the role play, you will present a 3-4 minute summary and critical analysis of the topics/issues raised by the documentary film assigned to you at the following link ( The film loosely or directly corresponds to a chapter in the textbook for that week, so your job is to connect the substance of the film to the textbook and/or lecture material in a meaningful and compelling way. Your oral presentation should contain all of the elements outlined under Tasks in the next section. You/your group should make a list of these tasks and assign a member to each one. This list should be turned into your instructor via D2L along with your final presentation. Your short presentation should summarize, synthesize, and critically analyze your film in 3-4 minutes. You will also be responsible for answering questions from classmates AND your instructor based upon the evidence and arguments made by the film. This is a geography class, so be sure that you know the location and country of your film. Your presentation must also present your opinion/analysis and not simply a regurgitation of the film content.


1. Peruse the list of films available on the course syllabus. Investigate the films and select one or more possible films to view and analyze. Films are assigned by the instructor. Watch the film and take notes (if partnered then you must do this together). Your presentation should include some specific data as presented in the documentary. It is best if you experience the video without having researched the topic previously, so do not read reviews ahead of time.

2. Outline the basic premise, background info, argument(s), and evidence cited by the film(s). (Note: You do not have time to include every single fact presented in the film. Your job is to distill it down to the most important components. Make sure to include a big idea about what you learned. Don’t just get lost in the nitty gritty!

3. After you have watched, do some background digging on this topic to find out more about the issue. Where do the events covered in the film(s) take place and why there? Be certain to look at a MAP! Is this phenomenon new? Does it relate to other ongoing issues? Is this issue contentious? Who are the primary and secondary stakeholders affected by this issue? What are the larger implications? Why does this matter? Are there potential solutions/resolutions to this issue? What is the state of the ongoing debate and who stands on which side?

4. Focus upon the makers/producers of the film(s) and the facts presented. Are they credible? Why or why not? What was the purpose of making this documentary? Find at least 3 other newspaper, magazine, and/or legitimate sources that deal with that topic and/or region (you may wish to consult a librarian for this task). At least one of them should come from the region/country or city associated with that particular issue. Do they corroborate or contradict the evidence and arguments presented?

5. Consider the issue at 3 different geographic scales and discuss how this issue plays out at each of the following.

a. Local

b. State or National

c. Global/International/Cross-border

· For example, if your film(s) deals with oil extraction in Nigeria, you might discover that at the local level, increased drilling results in a loss of quality of life as people are removed from their land. Meanwhile, the nation as a whole may benefit as GDP, tax revenue, and infrastructure enhancements all grow as a result of oil proceeds. At the international/cross-border scale, conflict may arise between Nigeria and its neighbors over disputes about access to resources, while at the global level benefits may accrue because increasing the oil supply keeps prices lower.

6. Relying upon the information gathered in 1-5, prepare your short oral presentation. Your presentation should include at least 2 images and at least 1 map. You may present this in PowerPoint format or Prezi or Video or in some other electronic format suitable for presentation to the class. If you prefer, you may prepare the video ahead of time for viewing in class! See instructions for video preparation at the end of this document.

7. Each member of your group must take part in the presentation, which should last 5-7 minutes (not including Q&A). Remember to summarize, synthesize, and analyze the film(s).

a. If you create a video, you may upload it to YouTube, then upload a link to your presentation in the appropriate Dropbox section of the class. Do this well before the start of class, because videos take a long time to upload!

b. If you will present during class, upload your presentation/PowerPoint to the appropriate Assignments location on D2L.

c. You should NOT bring in a presentation on a flashdrive the day of your presentation. It should already be uploaded into D2L well in advance of the presentation time/date.

8. The final slide of your presentation should contain each of the sources you used in your presentation (properly formatted in APA style) along with a proper citation for the film(s).

9. Be prepared for questions that will be asked by the instructor and/or your classmates. This is a key factor in your grade, so it is important that you have watched your films and are familiar with the content. During this stage, you may also choose to hold a debate among your own group and/or ask questions of one another.

10. Engage the class into a guided activity related to your topic. Be creative with this! Make the topic interesting and be sure to relate it to a larger set of issues/questions/topics. You should also deliver to the class a hand-out that contains the main points you want them to understand about the film(s). You can deliver this to them before, during, or at the end of your presentation. Encourage students to verbalize their opinions in ways that are open but also respectful of others. Remember your goal is to inform, convince, and enlighten your classmates!

11. Submit 1-2 page single-spaced (typed) summary of the film in your own words by answering the questions below. This is due at the beginning of class on the date of your presentation. It will be submitted in paper/printed form and also via D2L The paper will answer the following questions (be sure to label each of your answers with the following:

a. Where does this film take place & why?

b. Who made this film and why? Does the filmmaker leave anything out in discussing the issues?

c. Do you find the substance of the film to be compelling/meaningful? Why or why not?

d. What else did you find out about this topic through your investigation of outside sources?

e. Explain how some element from the textbook or from classroom material relates to this film?

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