Through a Lens: Exploring Contemporary China Through Film, Documentary and Social Media

Journey all across China without the stress of packing, buying a transpacific ticket, jet-lag –not to mention mask wearing. You won’t have to worry about figuring out the subway system or standing in long lines to see the terra cotta soldiers. This winter we will explore China without leaving our seats – you don’t have to battle I-5, rain or snow. For most Americans the geography, culture, economics, politics, religions and philosophies of China seem more than an ocean away. Chinese documentaries, films, and social media can make this complex country—with its long history and mind-boggling present—more accessible to you and your students.
Film can be an extremely useful source for exploring many issues facing China today: the complex issue of globalization, environmental concerns, migrant labor, urban demolition/urban construction, China’s changing rural landscape, political and economic reform, the generation gap, human rights, etc. Together we will grapple with these changes through up-to-date documentaries as well as enjoy many of the visual beauties of Chinese land and culture through Chinese-made feature films.
We will not only share films and clips from a wide variety of documentaries and films, but also lesson plans/discussion ideas that correspond with these films. Educators will receive a resource packet that includes an annotated list of documentaries and films for classroom use with guiding questions and lesson plans. Our goal is to assist educators at all levels in finding documentaries/films for learning and teaching about China.
This seminar will be led by Tese Wintz Neighbor.