URB 202 / JRN 202 / LAO 232 (LA)

Documentary Film and the City

Purcell Carson

Back to "Spring 2020" courses

How can a specific, character-driven documentary effectively shed light on complex social issues? How do the methods we use to observe the world shape the stories we tell? In this seminar in non-fiction film, we will work at the intersection of journalism and portraiture, applying these questions to the topic of migration between Guatemala and Trenton. Readings, screenings and discussion will deepen our understanding of the issues, while giving shape to our filmmaking. During a break trip in Guatemala, we will explore the tools of observational cinema, the rigors of field producing, and the ethics of relationships with documentary subjects.

Interested students may apply to enroll in this course, which is limited to 12 students. Applicants must be available for a mandatory spring-break trip to Guatemala. Filmmaking experience and Spanish language proficiency are welcome, but not required. Applications are due by 11:59 PM on Friday, November 29, 2019. Admission decisions will be returned to applicants by Monday, December 2, 2019.

Email the instructor, Purcell Carson (acarson@princeton.edu), or JRN's program manager, Margo Bresnen (mbresnen@princeton.edu), with any questions.

View this course on the Registrar’s website.

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