Purdue University Black Cinema Essay


Before you start, please read those articles and watch those film first.

“Shot in Watts: Film and State Violence in the 1970s P213-226, 233-244

Required Screening: Bush Mama , 1976 (Haile Gerima, 97 min)

Required Screening: Killer of Sheep , 1978 (Charles Burnett, 80 min)

1. In this week’s lecture, the question and concept of violence was discussed and theorized (in the lecture video, in the reading, in the films). With this expanded discussion on different types and understandings of violence, please answer the following question: how is violence depicted in the film Bush Mama, and why is this significant? Make sure to use specific examples from the film to construct your answer (strong answers will also pull from the various course materials–i.e. the reading and the lecture videos–in constructing your answer).

2. Compare the two featured films this week: Bush Mama and Killer of Sheep. Pick one or two points from both films to construct an argument about their relationship to one another. This can be a relationship based on differences, similarities, or some mix of both. The goal, however, is to construct a specific argument where you make claims about their relationship and back these claims ups with evidence (from the film and course materials).

Written clearly, proofread, organized in a clear and effective way (no more than 300 words per question)

Addresses the questions directly and completely (especially, if there are multiple parts to the question)

Demonstrates (even highlights) knowledge of the course materials, especially by constructing answers with examples that connect readings, lectures, and films

Integrates quotations from textbook, readings, lecture videos, or films (needs to be cited correctly, MLA style (Links to an external site.), and appropriately—not too much quotation, addressed in your own words after citing)

Demonstrates deep analytical and critical thinking

Attentive to the political and historical context of the period, film, filmmaker, movement, etc. being written about