Identify the main argument and / or purpose of the film: What is the filmmaker’s purpose? What is the argument/thesis of the film? What assertions/claims are made?
This video documented a fifth grade class from the Bronx traveling to a farm sanctuary in Upstate New York. The boys stayed at the farm for three days and worked with the animals during the day, while connecting to one another and natures goodness. The filmmakers main purpose of capturing this experience was not only to commemorate a trip the class thoroughly enjoyed, but also to capture and spread awareness/the message on the importance of eating a whole foods diet and taking care of all the animals on earth. The thesis of this film would be that new experiences outside of normal comfort zones often lead to new understandings and growth.
Give me at least two ways in which the thesis or aim of the film’s argument is supported through rhetorical and persuasive strategies (e.g., presentation of facts, dismissing credibility of counterfactual information, not addressing certain related issues, etc.).
The mini documentary highlights the workers of the farm sanctuary speaking to the children to further understand the mission of the trip and workings of the farm sanctuary. This not only established power relations between the students and workers, but also condones an academic, factual rhetoric which allows for higher credibility, ethos, with the workers of the farm sanctuary.
Another rhetorical strategy used multiple times throughout this film was interview based questions with the students who were attending this trip. Questions were asked before the trip began, during their stay at the farm, and upon returning back to school. The questions and answers allow the reader to get a deeper sense of how those involved are feeling, connecting the audience to the message on deeper levels.
To focus your ideas, you’ll need to choose a selection of scenes to analyze. Do not attempt to discuss everything about the film. Your chosen scenes from the film should represent the best evidence or claims for the film’s purpose. Explain why these seem to be the most truthful or persuasive and analyze how the filmmaker uses them to present the film’s argument.
There is not much of an argument within this documentary, other than the subtle notes that a vegan diet is the most sustainable, nutrient dense, and ethically sound lifestyle. The main focus is on the children gaining new learning experiences and work experience. The filmmaker shows two specific scenes that show the authors main purpose.
First of, there is a scene where the filmmaker mutes the background and plays subtle music while the students are all busy working in the barn. Right before the camera is shot over to the scene of the children working, there is student answering an interview question by saying, “None of the work has been hard really. It’s all been pretty fun”. This shows that the children were taking new knowledge, connection, and growth away from this learning experience.
Secondly, to complement that first scene nicely, the documentary ends by showing snapshots of all the students with different rescued animals from the farm sanctuary. This powerfully captures a key part of the trip and purpose of the film: to show how one another can come together to experience something new and outlandish and build a genuine appreciation for it, all while growing and having fun with your peers and friends.