I thought all of you might be interested in something I am doing for my 1010 classes in B block and fall term. To give students an in-depth understanding of angle of vision and wallowing in complexity, I am having them watch the narrative film Vantage Point outside of class. This PG13 film is highly complex and very entertaining. It deals with the vantage points of a handful of people on the shooting of the president of the United States. The angles of vision depend on with where the characters are at the time, what their social and political motivations are for being there, how they respond to the shooting, and the ways they intentionally and inadvertently influence each other’s actions. On top of the angle of vision and wallowing benefits, the movie offers an excellent extended metaphor for the complexities of research and the demands of sorting out old and new as well as reliable and unreliable information.
In my classes, we are spending between a half hour and an hour discussing the film and how it plays into their needs to wallow in complexity and understand angle of vision. We’re also covering the importance of skillful use of source material.
If you choose to do this, you may put Vantage Point, and any other film for that matter, on two-week, electronic reserve in the UVU library, so your students can watch it at home. I have been informed, however, that you must show at least some of the movie in the classroom in order to satisfy requirements stipulated by the provider. The circulation desk can help you sort out the details.
If you decide to use Vantage Point, I’d be interested in feedback, particularly how you chose to implement it.