We prepare our students to solve societal issues, to understand and address problems facing our justice and legal infrastructures, to be informed and participate in politics and analyze economic trends in our society and around the globe.

The Political Film Series


The Political Film Series, sponsored by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and the College of Public Policy and Justice, is offering three films during the fall semester:

Wag the Dog (1997; R)
When: Monday, September 12, 2016 at 7:00 P.M.
Where: 112 Goodwyn Hall
Co-sponsor: SGA
Film Introduction: Dr. Pia Knigge, Political Science
Film Synopsis: You survived the 2016 primary season and two national party conventions; so we think it is time to take a break from real campaign politics with an entertaining film about a reel presidential campaign. Wag the Dog is a bold political satire illustrating in exaggerated fashion media spin and the so-called rally effect. The president in Wag the Dog engaged in sexual misconduct during his reelection campaign. Time to call in ‘Mr. Fix-it,’ a political consultant played by Robert DeNiro, who in turn seeks the help of the egocentric second-rate Hollywood producer Stanley Motts (brilliantly performed by Dustin Hoffman). Together they stage a war in a film studio to distract a gullible American public from the sex scandal and to rally the public behind the president. The televised war images and emotional but false appeals to nationalism created by the spin doctors will not only make you laugh but also reflect on how easily the media can deceive the electorate.

Fed Up (2014; PG)
When: Monday, October 24, 2016 at 7:00 P.M.
Where: 112 Goodwyn Hall
Co-sponsor: University Honors Program
Film Introduction: Natilee McGruder, River Region Food Policy Council
Film Synopsis: We chose this film to pay tribute to both the United Nations World Food Day (October 16) and National Food Day (October 24). Does what we eat make us sick? This is the question the documentary Fed Up attempts to answer. In this endeavor filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and TV journalist Katie Couric lead the audience through a potent exposé that uncovers why - despite media attention, the public's fascination with appearance, and government policies to combat childhood obesity - generations of American children will now live shorter lives than their parents did. Unfortunately, the problem of obesity is even more pronounced in the South. In Alabama, for example, it is estimated that over 65% of adults are currently overweight and almost one in three adults is obese. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to stay this way. Fed Up not only alerts us to the problem but also presents strategies to combat the obesity epidemic.

We Were Soldiers (2002; R)
When: Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 7:00 P.M.
Where: 111 Goodwyn Hall
Co-sponsor: College of Arts & Sciences
Film Introduction: Dr. Ben Severance, History
Film Synopsis: On the eve of Veterans Day we present a fact-based tale of men under fire, their common acts of uncommon valor, and their loyalty to, and love for, one another during one of the most savage military battles during the Vietnam War and in U.S. history. At the core of We Were Soldiers is the first major battle between the American and the Vietnamese (NVA) armies as seen through the eyes of the Battalion Commander Lt. Colonel, Hal Moore (Mel Gibson). The battle takes place in 1965, in La Drang Valley of Vietnam, which soon thereafter became known as the Valley of Death. Under the leadership of Lt. Colonel Moore 400 young men from the newly formed 1/7th Cavalry Regiment of the US 1st Air Cavalry Division are facing 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers dug into the tunnel warren mountainside. Fighting continues for days. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Julia Moore (Madeleine Stowe) has become the leader of the American wives living on the base. Supporting the families of soldiers who die in combat becomes her brave mission.

The Political Film Series is made possible through a grant from the Ida Belle Young Special Projects Fund and is free and open to the public. Complimentary popcorn and soda will be served. For more information, please contact: Dr. Pia Knigge at pknigge@aum.edu or 334-244-3834.