The purpose of this assignment is for you to apply your knowledge of gerontological concepts and vocabulary in the context of an aging-related film. The first step is to find a film that you are interested in writing about. To assist you with this task, there is a list of aging-related films posted on the Canvas course site (on the home/syllabus page under the Assignments section).
Review the list of films. You can look at online reviews (and previews) of many of the films to make sure that you choose a film that you are interested in and will watch carefully—maybe even multiple times —so that you can answer the questions below knowledgeably and in detail. Two out of class assignments (due February 23 and March 2) will help you choose your film.
Once you identify the film you will use for the assignment, watch it critically, from the perspective of someone who is becoming knowledgeable about gerontology and aging-related issues. Take good notes that focus on gerontologically-relevant aspects of the film. These notes should form the basis of your analysis. Be sure to use the Film Analysis Assignment Rubric to guide you through the assignment. Your analysis should be no less than 3 1/2 and no more than 5 double-spaced, typed pages. Please use 12-point font and 1 inch margins. Address the following points in your analysis, and be sure to include gerontological vocabulary and concepts throughout your responses:
- Identify a major gerontological perspective/lens (i.e., life span development and/or life course perspective, biopsychosocial approach, environmental gerontology) that best helps you understand the film from a gerontological point of view. Briefly explain the perspective/lens and why/how this perspective/lens helps you “make sense” of the film. (9 points)
- In general, how are older adult(s) portrayed in the film (e.g., is the film ageist; in what way(s) are the characters stereotypical; to what extent does the film capture the diversity of the aging experience (think about different ways of measuring aging) within the same character and across different characters; are the older characters accurately portrayed)? (16 points)
- Select one of the older characters in the film and discuss her/his life course trajectory. Specifically, as appropriate in the context of the film, discuss: a) the relevant age-graded, history graded, and non-normative events that comprise the character’s trajectory; b) the relevance of the timing of these key events; c) the impact of social role expectations and changes; d) how the character’s life course trajectory is influenced by the historical period and/or culture in which the film is set; and e) indicate how the character’s life course trajectory influences that of another major character. (20 points)
- Discuss whether you consider this to be a good film from the perspective of someone who is informed about aging in terms of: a) what the film “got right” gerontologically; b) how the film could have done a better job gerontologically; c) whether you would recommend the film to a general audience; and d) whether you would recommend the film to an older adult audience. (16 points)