Monday, March 8, 2010

Latin American Cinema

I have just begun my Latin American Cinema (J467) take-home final essay exam.

I've really enjoyed the class, but I think the subject is far too broad to adequately cover in a single term. The other two foreign film classes I've taken focused on much more specific topics: a single country (Germany) and a single genre within a continent (Asian Fantasy Cinema).

Gabriela Martinez, who teaches the class, is very knowledgeable and I think she does a great job of leading class discussions. I know far more about Latin American culture and history than I did a couple of months ago, and have been exposed to a lot of films I probably never would have seen otherwise. That said, I am really struggling with trying to keep all the details straight. It's difficult for me to remember what happened in which country. All of Latin America is a lot to cover in such a short time.

I think I have retained the most about Mexico and Argentina, both of which we covered early in the term. I remember a fair amount about Brazil, which we also spent more time on than the subsequent countries. Most of what we covered in the second half of the term (Chile, Bolivia, Cuba) is a blur.

I think we could easily have spent the entire term focusing on Argentina and the Dirty War, or documentaries from the continent, and it still would have been a lot to grapple with.

Writing these essays is going to require a lot of reading and reviewing of my notes. I hope that by the end of the week I will be able to say something intelligent about three of the six topics I have to choose from!

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