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Crime, War and Justice: Global Narratives in the 21st Century

Units: 2
Student Level: Beginning

Jun 29 - Aug 7 Add to cart
Schedule: Tues & Thurs 10:00am - 12:00pm (PST)
Orientation: Jun 23, 2020 at 11:00 AM
Max. Seats: 40
Faculty: Ted Braun & Luis Moreno Ocampo

About the Class

How do the cinematic arts bring to life stories of crimes against ethnic and religious groups at the international and domestic level? This course is an introduction to global narratives about crimes, war and justice from the perspective of the founding Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and a critically acclaimed writer-director of films about international crisis. We will move from Judgement at Nuremberg and the unveiling of Nazi genocide, to cell phone video exposing the homicide of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. We will explore video games like Call of Duty and Fortnite, ISIS recruitment videos, and the manipulations of Cambridge Analytica.

Viet Thanh Nguyen said, "Wars are fought twice: the first time in the battlefield, the second time in memory." We will analyze how global narratives shape our memories and the future.

Key aspects of our exploration will include:

  • The relationship between the war on terrorism in foreign countries and the US domestic management of violence.
  • Narratives about the events triggered by George Floyd's homicide. How phone videos, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook influenced the protests.
  • How algorithms combined with videos are transforming national elections around the world.
  • How the word "Holocaust" with capital letter entered the global narrative as a consequence of film and television broadcasts in 1961.
  • Whether the Star Wars Jedi serve justice or attempt a coup d'état. Should they have arrested Prime Minister Palpatine and treated him as a criminal or tried to kill him as an enemy?
  • Whether Avatar is an account of a genocide committed by humans against aliens.
  • How KONY 2012 reached 120 million internet viewers in merely six days.
  • The moral responsibility practitioners of the cinematic arts and other disciplines have to the problems of the world.

The course will sharpen our understanding of how classic and new cinematic expressions shape global communities.

Films to be discussed include: 

  • Judgement at Nuremberg
  • Battle of Algiers 
  • In the Land of Blood and Honey 
  • The Eye in the Sky 
  • Avatar 
  • Selma 
  • Star Wars 


  • Darfur Now
  • Wikileaks: We Steal Secrets
  • Let the Fire Burn
  • The Great Hack

TV Series:

  • Homeland
  • Fauda
  • The West Wing
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation


  • KONY 2012
  • Call of Duty
  • Fortnite

In the 21st Century ideas will be shaped by a combination of films, series, algorithms, social media and video games. This course invites students to do original wok and share their research and ideas with the class.

This class requires no previous legal or security knowledge or cinematic expertise and aims to promote an intercultural and intergenerational debate.

It will be taught by the founding Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Courty, Luis Moreno Ocampo and The Joseph Campbell Endowed Chair in Cinematic Ethics, Ted Braun.

*This course is conducted entirely online via ZOOM. All projects are created outside of scheduled class time.                              *Please note that dates and times of the course are subject to changes. Additional tutorials are taught during outside hours.

INSTRUCTOR(S): Ted BraunLuis Moreno Ocampo