Feature Presentation

Friday, June 20, 2008

Last night I was flipping through some movie channels trying to find a good comedy. Instead, I ended up stopping on a 2007 documentary called "Resolved" that put a lens to the little known world of competitive debate. I'm a sucker for anything that explores the inner workings of groups, communities, cultures, kitchens, whatever. And cue the inner nerd lol :) I really wanted to share some clips with you from the film, but I could only get the trailer. It's just as great, though!

Other than the jaw dropping speed at which the competitors initiate their opening arguments (talking 300 to 400 wpm), the intense research and preparation that the debaters conduct leaves you kind of stunned. After showing a wide spectrum of students--both male and female--from across the country, the film focused on two fairly opposite duos: Sam and Matt and Richard and Louis. Sam and Matt from Highland Park High School in Texas are so sick when it comes to negating their competitor's points. Sam's tactic is to question your every argument in a condescending manner and then not even give you the satisfaction of eye contact while he's sticking a fork in your rhetoric.

Louis and Richard, two black students from Long Beach Jordan High in California, are classified as the non-stereotypical debaters who don't attend private schools and choose to rock printed T's of revolutionaries and quotes by Paolo Friere. (Fast forward to 2:05 to see them). Their approach to debate (which greatly differs from their competitors) is to debate the practice of debate itself and argue for more independent thought rather than simply regurgitating a million facts for arguments sake. I like that they come off as two very chill guys with a swagger who listen to The Clash, and once you hear their speeches and their arguments you say "Yeah, I kind of want to be their friend, too".... Anyway, the film was great. Looking forward to watching the French docu-drama "Entre les murs" (The Class) next! Sidenote: isn't it strange how this title translates? "Entre les murs" literally means "between/inside the walls", no?

1 comment:

  1. Hmm....when you tried to persuade me to watch it recently I decidely blew you off, but after reading this I might have to watch...and Highland Park, Dallas, TX represent! LOL.


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