I need help with a Film question. All explanations and answers will be used to help me learn.

Comparative Analysis Paper

In Week 9, we watch two documentaries on the memory of the Black Panther Party. The first is Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, directed by Stanley Nelson and produced by PBS in 2015. The second is Power to the People: The Black Panther Party and Beyond, directed by Lee Lew-Lee and produced by an independent film group in Los Angeles (Electronic News Group) in 1996. In 400-600 words, you will write a comparative analysis that puts these two films into conversation with one another. The paper requires you take a stand with the goal of persuading a more general public of your point of view. The short piece should be informed by the readings, screenings, and lectures from the course. The piece also needs to engage not only the content of the documentaries, but also the styles in which they are presented.

Goals of the paper:

  • To write a clear, short, and accessible essay that persuades a general audience of your point-of-view.
  • To illustrate your knowledge of our course content in order to build your credibility as a writer and expert on your topic.
  • To use this expertise of the course content to construct a specific, original, and sophisticated thesis (point-of-view) about these two documentaries.
  • To incorporate your own particular interests and creativity into the work by choosing what specific element you want to write about.
  • To exhibit your ability to analyze and argue about both the content and form (style) of the documentaries assigned.

Grading Rubric:

  • Argumentation: Does your essay clearly and persuasively argue for a specific thesis that is original, clear, and sophisticated? Does your essay illustrate your use of the course content to make your argument (the readings, class discussions, other media we’ve seen)?
  • Organization: Is your essay organized clearly and persuasively? Are you using topic sentences that draw in your reader and direct the ideas in your paragraph? Are your paragraphs both cohesive and organized in a logical way that supports your argument?
  • Evidence: Does your essay use strong, specific examples and vivid descriptions to help prove your thesis?
  • Language and Mechanics: Does your essay use strong word choices? Is it grammatically correct and exhibit a strong, persuasive style that fits a less formal genre of writing?

Writing Tips:

  • Avoid too much summary. A quick intro is all that is needed. Jump right into your thesis.
  • Keep in mind the documentaries were made twenty years apart, one in 1996, one in 2015.
  • Focus in on a manageable topic:
    • a specific element of BPP history, and how it is depicted in the documentaries (self-defense, internationalism, revolutionary education and politics, survival programs, state repression, political prisoners, women’s roles, role of the media, multi-racial coalitions)
    • the success of one documentary over the other in expressing a particular message about the BPP
    • something that is missing in one documentary and why that is significant (or something that is missing in both documentaries)
    • a focus on a particular formal element (editing, narrative structure, ect.) and how it is used differently to different effects in both documentaries (or something that is similar and connects them)
    • A focus on spectatorship and affect (the emotional experience of the viewer)—what emotions are elicited by the documentaries? How do their affective qualities differ?
    • A focus on how the documentaries speak to their specific historical conditions (1996 & 2015)
  • Use the writing center here at UCI. There are options to make an appointment with a writing tutor, to walk-in and see a peer tutor, or an email submission option.

**Please feel free to focus on your own manageable topic. You do not need to choose from the suggested list above. The paper is meant to give you some liberty to write on something that strikes you as interesting, significant, and important.

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