The purpose of this course is to explore how directors have used the medium of film to examine various social issues, be it in narrative or documentary form. Among the directors we will consider are Barbara Kopple, Steven Spielberg, Emile de Antonio, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, J.L. Godard, Lina Wertmuller, Peter Watkins, and Oliver Stone. Some of the films we will analyze are problematic from any number of perspectives, others are more 'coherent'. In other words, it is possible to learn from bad art as well as good. Grades are based on four short papers and two in class midterms.