Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies

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LIT300ZA(文学 / Literature 300)
Fact and Fiction in the Movies

Catherine Marie MUNROE HOTES

Class code etc
Faculty/Graduate school Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies
Attached documents
Year 2022
Class code A6324
Previous Class code
Previous Class title
Term 秋学期授業/Fall
Day/Period 火1/Tue.1
Class Type
Campus 市ヶ谷 / Ichigaya
Classroom name 各学部・研究科等の時間割等で確認
Grade 3~4
Credit(s) 2
Open Program
Open Program (Notes)
Global Open Program
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers (Notes) 制度ウェブサイトの3.科目別の注意事項 (1) GIS主催科目の履修上の注意を参照すること。
Class taught by instructors with practical experience
Urban Design CP
Diversity CP
Learning for the Future CP
Carbon Neutral CP
Chiyoda Campus Consortium
Duplicate Subjects Taken Under Previous Class Title
Category (commenced 2024 onwards)
Category (commenced 2020-2023)
Category (commenced 2016-2019)

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Outline and objectives

This course will examine how reality is depicted on film, from the advent of cinema to contemporary forms of online media. We will look at how the tropes of documentary fiction and non-fiction were developed and changed with new technologies.


Students will learn documentary film theory and narrative film theory with particular emphasis on how cinematography, mise-en-scène, sound, editing and other techniques are used by filmmakers in both fiction and non-fiction films to give the impression of realism. We will also discuss the ethics of depicting the lives of real people and events on film. Students will learn to engage critically with media and learn how to determine fact from fiction.

Which item of the diploma policy will be obtained by taking this class?

Will be able to gain “DP 1”, “DP 2”, “DP 3”, and “DP 4”.

Default language used in class

英語 / English

Method(s)(学期の途中で変更になる場合には、別途提示します。 /If the Method(s) is changed, we will announce the details of any changes. )

Lecture, readings, film analysis, quizzes, group work, exam, and essay writing.
Lectures take a hybrid form that actively encourages student participation in discussion.
The participation mark will include attendance, mini-quizzes that will evaluate comprehension of assigned readings, group work and peer evaluation of in-class group work.
Submission of assignments and feedback will be via the Learning Management System.

Active learning in class (Group discussion, Debate.etc.)

あり / Yes

Fieldwork in class

なし / No


授業形態/methods of teaching:対面/face to face


1[オンライン/online]:Course Introduction & Introduction to Documentary Theory

Explanation of course theme, content, grading, participation and attendance requirements.
Selection of Lumière Brothers short films

2[対面/face to face]:Kino Pravda

Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)

3[対面/face to face]:Docudrama

Nanook of the North (Robert J. Flaherty, 1922)

4[対面/face to face]:Ethnographic Filmmaking

How to Build an Igloo (Douglas Wilkinson, 1949)
If You Want to Get Married... You Have to Learn How to Build an Igloo! (Allen Auksaq, 2011)

5[対面/face to face]:Indigenous Perspectives

Alanis Obomsawin readings and clips
Film Terminology Quiz

6[対面/face to face]:Docufiction, Direct Cinema, Cinéma Vérité

Chronique d'un été (Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin, 1961)
Lonely Boy (Roman Kroiter & Wolf Koenig, 1962)

7[対面/face to face]:First Person Narration

Waiting for Fidel (Michael Rubbo, 1974)

8[対面/face to face]:Review & Mid-term Exam

Examination on material read, viewed and discussed during weeks 2-7

9[対面/face to face]:Historical Dramas: Fact vs. Fiction

Readings and clips from Braveheart (Mel Gibson, 1995) and The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)

10[対面/face to face]:Biographical Films (BioPics)

Readings and clips from Frida (Julie Taymor, 2002), Becoming Jane (Julian Jarrold, 2007)

11[対面/face to face]:Re-enactment of True Events

The Docudrama: Clips from The Thin Blue Line
Reading: "Play It Again, Sam (Re-enactments, Part One)"
Short quiz.

12[対面/face to face]:How Real is Reality TV?

A Selection of Video Clips and Readings
Class Debate

13[対面/face to face]:Edutainment, Infotainment, “Soft News”, Clickbait

Group presentation of research done on a selected film

14[対面/face to face]:Final Discussion: How to Discern Fact from Fiction in Online Media

Class Discussion
Final Paper Due

Work to be done outside of class (preparation, etc.)

Reading academic texts and answer comprehension questions (4 hours each week). The estimated preparation time includes watching video clips.


This is a paperless class. The films and academic readings, and other materials will be made available using online resources or shared files.
Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary. 3rd ed. Bloomington: Bloomington UP, 2017. (available as an ebook)


Bordwell, David. The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies. Berkeley: U of California P, 2006.
Bordwell, David, Kristin Thompson and Jeff Smith. Film Art: An Introduction. 12th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2019

Grading criteria

Participation (30%); film terminology quiz (20%); mid-term exam (20%); essay(30%).

Changes following student comments

Not applicable.

Equipment student needs to prepare

Students should bring their device (laptop, tablet, et al.) to class in order to refer to course readings if necessary.


Enrollment is limited to 3rd and 4th year students.