More than one hundred students watched “Wag the Dog” and “Vice” Wednesday in The Great Hall as part of the campus’s first Political Film Festival from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
After both movies ended, some professors and student club political leaders engaged in a panel discussion after 3:00 p.m., leaving room for attendees of the political spectrum to participate. Sci
Many students signed in to receive extra credit for their classes. Others registered to vote, joined the 2020 census team, and signed up for clubs such as Pierce College Democrats, Students for Social Justice, Pierce College Republicans, Students for Bernie, Political Science Society and Pierce College Vegan Society.
Political Science Professor Denise Robb, host of the festival, said what inspired the festival was the thought of creating a political film class. She said she doesn’t know if it will be accepted, as she still needs to figure out Cal State and UC transfer agreements.
“I was thinking about it and Professor Gabrielle said, ‘Why don’t you have a political film festival and see if people are interested.’ I also did a poll of a few hundred students and they all chose this out of six classes that they’d like to take,” Robb said.
Robb said she and Media Arts Professor Kenneth Windrum chose “Wag the Dog” and “Vice” because they related to the theme of abuse of power. She said the films kind of dealt with deceiving the public into accepting something false so that the people didn’t know what was actually going on.
Adrian Cortes, an attendee, said there were benefits to going to the festival and learning about how politics works.
“And how abusive our works with the politics, and what’s going on currently now, not to put any bias towards it,” Cortes said. “Definitely more aware of what’s going on now. [“Wag the Dog”] shows how past events have also carried on to now current events.”
Nathaniel Raft, a conservative who attended at the beginning of the second film and spoke at the panel, said although he felt the festival leaned left, he felt he learned a lot from the second movie showcase, “Wag the Dog,” and liked the panel.
“[The panel] made me get my brain thinking a little bit more and more, even if I didn’t quite agree with a lot of things that were said,” Raft said. “I did learn how to argue and how people think. It’s just an educational experience overall.”
Raft said that as someone interested in politics, he would like to see the political film festival again in the future and added his suggestion for the future panel.
“Maybe if it’s possible to have more of a diversity of thought up on the actual stage itself,” Raft said. “It seemed less like a debate between left views and right views and more so between progressive Democrats and a standard Democrats.”
Robb said she and Windrum agreed to make the festival a regular thing and do it in conjunction with Day of Politics. She said they might do both together because doing separate events is a lot of work.
“We’re going to have debates and propositions,” Robb said. “Maybe we’ll watch a movie from 10-11:30 a.m., have a panel and then from 12-4:00 p.m. have propositions or candidates.”
Robb said she recommends students contact her if they want to join a club, do political internships or register to vote.
“I’m hoping [the festival will] be the beginning of a class, but that’s way down the road,” Robb said.