Monthly Archives: February 2012

Paradise Now

October 25th, and it was time for another international film! This time, the movie was Paradise Now, a movie made in 2005. Set in Tel Aviv, Israel, the two main characters, Palestinians Said and Khaled, who are part of an extremist group, are sent on a suicide bombing mission. When things go wrong, the two have to separate, giving them time to think about what they’re about to do. Paradise Now explores why suicide bombers do what they do, and gives a glimpse of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute currently going on (which is pretty complicated – Boyer gave a “brief”, but in reality, rather long, introduction explaining the general basis of the conflict). This movie is in Arabic and was filmed in Israel, with portions filmed in France, the Netherlands, and Germany.

We also saw this movie on February 29, 2012 for Spring Semester.


Week 6 Lectures

Tuesday – Topics discussed included:

  • Assassination attempt against Putin foiled
  • Sarkozy’s going to lose!
  • Sarkozy’s France doesn’t like Turkey
  • Is the EU being racist against the Turks?
  • Lots of cultural friction in Europe!
  • Germany to Serbia: EU candidacy still in doubt
  • lol fun…
  • Review: World Political Spectrum. What political systems are in the world today?
  • Cuba’s waiting for Fidel Castro to die

Thursday – Topics discussed included:

  • No class the week after Spring Break!
  • Kim Jong-un made a deal to halt nuclear activity in exchange for food!
  • North Korea is the most brainwashed society in the world
  • What are the Six-party talks?
  • The differences between North Korea and Iran
  • International organizations: What they are, what must be sacrificed to be part of one, and why you’d want to be in one.
  • Personal note: Boyer mentions Hungary! If I taught the class, he would get extra credit!
  • How Switzerland is not in the EU, and why they don’t want to join, but Serbia does
  • What about Ukraine and the EU?
  • Some history about WWI and WWII!

Week 5 Lectures

Tuesday – Topics discussed included:

  • Get extra credit for dressing up as a world leader for the first world leaders exam!
  • The president of Yemen is finally stepping down!
  • The Brazilian police went on strike
  • When Europe stops buying Iranian oil, it boosts the economies of other countries – like Russia! They’re becoming more reliant on Russia for energy.
  • More world leaders!

No Man’s Land

Unlike the previous movies, this was the first time Boyer had shown No Man’s Land…at least since the creation of this blog! Set during the Bosnian war during the 1990s (which occurred as a result of the separation of various nations from Yugoslavia) , this 2001 movie was filmed in a variety of places including Slovenia, and includes many languages like Bosnian, English, French, and German. Here’s the deal: Two Bosnians and a Serb find themselves in the same trench. Problem is, they’re enemies in a confusing war, and one of the Bosnian soldiers is stuck on top of a mine which will explode if he moves. Chaos ensues, the UN “Smurfs” are called to solve the problem, and the ending…I won’t say. Those who watched it took a collective quiz at the end for class credit!

Week 4 Lectures!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Topics discussed included:

  • Exams are coming up
  • Iran’s going to make a nuclear announcement!
  • What is the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty)?
  • North Korea’s nuclear industry is like herpes – we don’t know what they have, and we don’t want to know!
  • Fidel Castro wanted to nuke all his people!
  • Nuclear powers – history, the present situation, and the future!
  • Let’s get rid of all the powerpoint slides!
  • More states! Will we ever finish this topic?
  • Nations without states
  • Is the USA a nation-state?
  • America is like the Honeybadger – we don’t care!

Thursday – Topics discussed included:

  • The EU is going to reduce their oil imports from Iran by a lot! Also, austerity measures for Greece
  • How India’s biggest issue is its wealth disparity
  • Too many males in China
  • State or not a state?
  • The Swiss Guard are badass pope ninjas!
  • Know your heads of state!

Good Bye Lenin!

This 2003 movie centers on the unification of Germany, illustrating how different East and West Germany were from each other in the 1980s and the sweeping changes that resulted in the former GDP following the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1989, Alexander Kerner lives with his mother, a woman who is an avid supporter of the German Democratic Republic. When Alex protests the regime, his mother suffers a heart attack and goes into a coma. During the time, the GDP ceases to exist as East Germany and West Germany become one state. To avoid having his mother’s condition worsen, Alex decides to recreate East Germany in their flat, while trying to shield her from the rapid changes occurring outside. The movie was filmed in Germany and likewise is in German. More movie points for all!

We showed this movie on September 27, 2011 for Fall 2011 and on February 8, 2012 for Spring 2012!

Week 3 Lectures

Tuesday – Topics discussed included:

  • Protesting Putin in Russia
  • It’s still cold in Europe!
  • China and Russia vetoed the resolution to deal with Syria, and the Syrian government bombed people! Not cool.
  • Turkey and the Gulf States sever all ties with Syria
  • What is the Arab League, anyway? And what’s the Arab Spring?
  • Everyone hates Iran!
  • NATO Article 5
  • The War on Terror, and how NATO and the UN didn’t help
  • How the Afghanistan campaign is a NATO war
  • The Smurfs!

Thursday – Topics discussed included:

  • Maldives is going to disappear!
  • Eurozone crisis in a minute (or five)
  • More on the P-5!
  • How genocide makes the UN act
  • What is a genocide?
  • Is sovereignty coming undone?
  • Why Russia and China vetoed the UN resolution about Syria

Week 2 Lectures!

Tuesday – Topics discussed included:

  • Someone brought in a didgeridoo and did the robot at the same time! AWESOME!
  • Central America is a violent region
  • India has an aircraft carrier! China (RICH) does too!
  • What’s going on in Syria? (And why Russia says “nothing’s going to happen there.”)
  • Weibo (Chinese version of Twitter) is scaring the Chinese government
  • States, nations, and nation-states, part two: What are they?
  • Iran could blow their own ships up and block the Strait of Hormuz
  • Fabricated islands that look like Mickey Mouse

Thursday – Topics discussed included:

  • People outside of North America love soccer!
  • It’s cold in Europe!
  • What is sovereignty, and how do you get it?
  • The UN, its history, and its role today
  • THE P-5! Veto power!
  • How to start World War III
  • How the UN got involved in the Korean War

Charlie Wilson’s War

September 13 arrived, and that meant it was time for another movie! Charlie¬†Wilson’s War¬†was made in 2007 and based on a true story. Tom Hanks stars as Congressman Charlie Wilson, a man from Texas who loves to party. Congressman Wilson is on two foreign policy and covert-ops committees, and when a big supporter of his, Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) reveals to him the horrors that the Afganis face in 1980s Soviet Union-occupied Afganistan, Charlie decides to put his efforts into supplying the mujahideen with weapons to kick those Commies out! However, helping this group out militarily does have some consequences. This movie was made in the English language and was filmed in both California and Morocco.

This movie was also shown on February 1. 2012.