Prompt: Your paper must be an evaluation of an argument or an aspect of a “position” from a film we examined in this class or an assigned reading, or from
your lecture notes. It is important to go beyond what was discussed in class, although issues discussed in class may be used as a point of departure for your
own analysis. Then you should validate your own “position.” I other words, you can further support your own argument.
The paper should include:
Your own thesis, which may be in agreement or disagreement with the filmmaker or author of the text that you will use as your main focus. Please make sure
you articulate a coherent position/argument in the paper and to support your position with concrete examples from two of the texts read in class
My abstract: Throughout the course of the semester, our class has examined numerous films and texts that explore, analyze, and discuss the borders faced
in humanity. While many of these films explore the ethnic borders imposed by cultural difference and human ignorance, a few works have dared to explore
other variations of borders we face in our everyday lives. Works like Faces Places explore self-imposed borders, challenging ourselves to try new things and
see new possibilities beyond what we thought was possible. Other works, like The Calendar, explore cultural borders, but also interpersonal ones. What
dangers do interpersonal disconnects impose on the quality and longevity of relationships? These types of borders intrigued me, and when our class briefly
discussed themes in Coco, I saw a film that dared to explore all sorts of new borders — borders in life and death, generations, obligation and passion, and
truth versus fantasy.
In my paper, I will be analyzing the arguments Coco makes about borders beyond ethnic differences. Though the film is set in the Mexican holiday of Dia de
los Muertos, this backdrop does not assert any cultural borders, as the presence of outside culture plays no impact on the characters, plot, or meaning of the
film. Rather, the film’s setting presents the most prominent border, that between life and death. What can we learn by listening to those that have passed?
What can our history teach us about our present and our future? Beyond the physical border of death, what roles do the borders imposed by generational
differences play? How does one break free from generational obligations to follow a passion? And, finally, what can the discovery of truth gain for us that a
more favorable falsehood cannot?