What did 494 students do last semester that
you may not be aware of? They attended screenings of the Viewpoints
Film Series. The film series is a combination of both documentary
and feature films that highlight global issues such as the
environment, the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, and cultural
issues which span the globe. In an era where the mainstream
media seems to be under a multitude of pressures which have
compromised world reporting, the documentary film has emerged
as one of the best ways we can learn about our planet.
A good example of this is two of the films that where screened
last semester on the Iraq War. The first film, The War Tapes,
chronicles the experience of National Guardsmen from New Hampshire.
The film is a poignant and very personal account of the soldiers’ experiences
both at war and their complicated return home. The film does
not attempt to present a homogenized few of “what it is
like over there” or definitively try to tell us “what
the soldiers really believe.” Rather we see how the individual
guardsmen think and respond very differently to their experiences.
The second film screened on Iraq was My Country, My Country.
Like The War Tapes, the film brings us a view of Iraq by focusing
on individual experience. The story told is of a Sunni doctor
who tries, in increasingly difficult circumstances, to run for
political office in 2005. The film brings us a close up look
of an Iraqi family, not just the broad strokes of a military
This spring semester some of the films selected to be screened
are just as exciting. In March, two films will be screened on
sports. One is the prize winning documentary Heart of the Game
on high school basketball. On the evening of March 7th, HPU Athletic
Director Darren Vorderbruegge will be present to moderate the
discussion which customarily follows the Friday night screening.
The following week the feature film Offside will be shown. It
chronicles the plight of women in Iran who must disguise themselves
as boys in order to watch soccer. Professor Margo Kitts, who
lead two wonderful discussions on Islam last semester, is returning
for this Friday night screening.
Viewpoints screenings are at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday
in the Sea Warrior Center. On Fridays at 5:30 p.m., the film
of the week is shown at Warmer Auditorium. At the Friday screening
there is free pizza, and following the film, a discussion. Once
films are screened they become available for students to see
at the LAC.