Films tie into class lessons

While movies traditionally are meant to entertain, some Del Mar College professors are also focusing on their education value.

The Del Mar College Curricular Encrichment Film Series is a program designed for students to better comprehend what they learn in class by watching a movie about it.

Developed in 2000, the series consists of Hollywood releases and documentaries all selected to complement material being discussed in the classroom.

Merry Bortz, professor of Learning Resources at the White Library, coordinates and schedules the movies.

“Films can open one’s mind to new ideas and experiences,” Bortz said.

The films are selected by a group of faculty, and, according to Bortz, the faculty who are participating this semester are in history, government, Mexican-American studies, English, art, diesel and Disability Services.

Jim Weber, professor of government, has been incorporating the film series into his curriculum since its beginning.

“Films are designed to supplement and enhance learning about whatever subject it may be,” said Weber, who has made attending the series a mandatory part of his class.

One example of a film that Weber gave was “Denial.”

“We showed ‘Denial,’ which is about a trial in England to prove that the Holocaust took place. This movie shows how the court system in England works and how it is different from the U.S.”

A film such as “Denial” depicts government situations, but movies that cover other subjects are also shown. For example, “Throne of Blood,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” is scheduled for March 2.

“Often if there is a film adaptation of a play, the student can better understand what is going on in the play,” said Professor Matthew Perry, chairman of the English and Philosophy Department.

Perry said he likes the Curriculum Enrichment Film Series because it’s a way for students to “have longer time on task, while also giving them an extra view of the material they are covering.”

Perry said he’s been incorporating the series into his class for seven years and that he’s had a “positive reaction.”

“Sometimes students aren’t thinking about the material once they are outside the class; the films get them to think about it a little more,” he added.

The DMC Curricular Enrichment Film Series is shown at 2:30 p.m. Fridays at the DMC William F. White Library in Room 530. It’s open to the public and everyone is welcome. For more questions, contact Bortz at 361-698-1951.

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