We stuck with George Romero for the second film in our Zombie Fictions class. We called the first section of our class "Foundations" and wanted focus on the groundwork laid by Romero in the first two of his genre defining works. We spent a lot of time talking about what a zombie is according to these films, as well as exploring the ways horror can be conveyed in films. For Dawn, however, we wanted to bring attention to the fact that from the beginning the best zombie films were about much much more than just terror and gore: these films were meant to convey larger messages, often in the form of social critique. The assignment asked the class to tease out one of those underlying meanings.
"This week, we will be covering another classic Romero film, the second part of his initial trilogy, Dawn of the Dead. One of the things that sets Dawn apart from Night is how obviously it functions as social commentary (Night certainly does this as well, but in much subtler ways). Clearly, the most blatant critique Romero makes in the film is of the growing consumerism and materialism of the 1970s. For this blog, I want you to identify one other social issue (NOT consumerism) that the film provides commentary on, and explain how the film develops this critique. However you decide to analyze the film - individual scene, character development, setting, thematic elements, etc. - your blog should include direct "textual" support for your claims. This is a close reading exercise, so it is important that you provide evidence from the film to inform your argument. This movie is also widely available on Youtube, so it should not be difficult to post or link to the scenes that you are referencing." My model blog for this assignment begins after the pic.
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