Monday, October 7, 2013

Three short Documentaries for the Spanish Class

I have already written that the short documentaries that appear in the cinema festival Notodofilmfest can be used in our classes for linguistic and thematic reasons. I'd like to introduce 3 short documentaries that have impressed me because of the topics they deal with. As in previous posts, I always try to look for resources that can be useful linguistically but also that introduce current issues which engage students in research projects or discussions.

Khessal a short film by Spanish director Jorge Dorado shows a terrible reality affecting young women in some African countries. In the short film we learn about a chemical product, khessal, which is used by many African women to whiten their skin. To have a paler skin means that they can have a better life personally and professionally. If this was not enough, most of the khessal makers use chemicals which are devastating for these young women's health. This is the reality the short film introduces and criticises.

Llamame Parker is a very surprising documentary in many ways. In fact, the first time I watched it in the Internet I thought it was a fiction film. However, it entered the documentary competition in Notodofilmfest. The topic is also quite unusual: a man in Madrid disguises as Spiderman to entertain the tourists in Plaza Mayor and earn a living this way. He is neither proud nor ashamed of doing this, he sees this activity as his job, his everyday duty. We can download the script of the short film in this blog if we want to use it in our class.

The last film is just 30 seconds long, I have spoken about this section before. A man in the Aztec traditional clothes begs for money from the motorists in Mexico city. It makes us think how difficult it is for minorities to fit in this increasingly uniformed world we live in and be able to keep their cultures alive.

These are three suggestions that can open discussions in our classes. They are linguistically interesting and deal with current topics that affect us even if we think that they are remote from our lives. My suggestion is to continue surfing Notodofilmfest to find more exciting short films.