Impact Documentaries

Instructor: Robert Small
Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:40 PM
Macaulay Honors College, Online
Course Code: MHC 349

Impact: Having an exceptionally strong effect
Documentary: A media story dealing with real life issues
This course will study many of the great Impact Documentaries that have explored, exposed and improved our understanding of important social issues. Documentaries in recent years have become more accessible to the population with the advent of streaming movie services and new portable viewing devices. They are recognized as a powerful voice for promoting awareness in the human condition and have become motivating tools to promote real change in the world. Documentaries such as Miss Representation, Gasland, The Cove, Rest in Power, Which Way Home and An Inconvenient Truth are a few of the most impactful documentary films made in the last 15 years.

In this class students will watch and discuss selected documentaries. We will be treated to several lectures by contemporary documentarians followed by Q & A sessions. There will be online and textbook reading assignments. The class will also offer students the opportunity to develop a documentary concept of their own and shoot a short trailer for their idea.

Part theory and part hands-on learning, Impact Documentaries is a class that will benefit students interested in most major fields of study be it medicine, law, politics, technology, business, communications, media, film or the arts.

The class is open to juniors and seniors (with sophomores accepted by permission)


Robert Small

Robert Small
Director of the Macaulay New Media Lab

Macaulay Honors College
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