For the last three Tuesdays of April, students and faculty alike can enjoy a certain type of film fair at the first ever SU DOX. This mini film festival features documentaries involving grizzlies, muscles and even imprisonment.
Three to four months in the making, first-year Milan Ther wants to expose the SU community to something not regularly seen on campus.
“SU Dox is an attempt to create a cultural offering here at Southwestern and show some documentaries,” Ther said. “I thought it was important to bring some perspective because this is such a homey place in many ways and that’s really nice, but I think it’s important to go out to see [a different] perspective.”
First-year David Bell also supports the initiatives of SU DOX. “There are really great documentaries out there, but they don’t get a lot of press or a lot of coverage so you don’t really hear about them,” Bell said. “They are truly entertaining, touching and just good movies.”
Each screened documentary will be accompanied by a SU professor’s introduction and discussion with the audience afterwards.
The first film, already shown on April 14th, was “Grizzly Man.” It was introduced by philosophy professor Dr. Phil Hopkins.
The film tells the story of grizzly bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell that eventually resulted in his own death by the very animal he admired.
Hopkins says, “I think one of the nicest bits about [director Werner] Herzog’s documentary, Grizzly Man, is that it’s not about this wacko weirdo who’s so unlike us. It’s about us. It’s about the way we tell ourselves stories of ourselves and how these stories construct our world.”
The second documentary of the three screened just this week with an introduction from political science professor Dr. Robert Snyder was Afghan Muscles, which is about bodybuilding in Afghanistan.
“I think students should check it out in order to learn. It’s just part of a way to learn about the wider world,” Snyder said.
The final documentary to be shown is “Antonio Negri: A Revolution that Never Ends.” Facilitated by philosophy professor Dr. Pierre Lamarche, the documentary focuses on the imprisonment of Italian philosopher Antonio Negri.
Lamarche, who has also completed research on the film’s subject Negri, notes the importance of events such as these.
“It’s about building the social, the cultural and the academic life here on campus,” he said. “It brings students together to experience a little bit of culture [and] to see some interesting documentaries that have been released recently that people are talking about.”
Although each documentary features a different plot, they are tied together by a common idea.
“They all chose to radically alter and differentiate themselves from their upbringings and their lifestyles,” Ther said.
Ther also hopes the documentaries will create discussion and perspective for viewers.
“It’s important to get out of your comfort zone, as well and these movies definitely do that in each their own way,” he said.
“I wish more students would initiate these kinds of things,” Hopkins says. “I think every opportunity to do inquiry and conversation [and] exploring ideas outside of the classroom where we integrate the kinds of things we learn and talk about in class into our living world are very important activities.”
The last documentary will be shown in Olin 110 this coming Tuesday at 7pm.