A Film Reflection Assignment


  • 750-1000 Words.
  • A brief summary and contextualization of the film (less than 200 words). Consider who made the film, and when. 
  • Analyze the film – narrow down to specific scenes, moments, framing, etc. What does the film say about HIV? What is its focus? Who is the intended audience? What do you think the film’s intended goals are?
  • How does the film make you feel? Are you uncomfortable? Why or why not? What does the film provoke for you? What is the effect of viewing the film?
  • You may also use outside materials, but they must be cited properly. You may use any citation format you like. 
  • This guide is formatted to help you watch, and more importantly think, critically.
  1. Read while you watch: Use the closed-caption feature, in order to better understand the dialogue. [Note: Oftentimes, the subtitles are abbreviated or modified and do not match the actual spoken words.]
  2. Credits and context: Consider a film’s main title and its opening credits (sometimes its closing credits): Why was the specific title chosen (were there any other alternatives considered?), and how do the credits establish a tone or mood? What are the first sounds and images in the film? Can you find any motifs in the credits? Do the end credits have any unusual features (e.g., out-takes, gags, additional footage, etc.).
  3. Classifying the genre and type: Decide on the film’s principal type, its genre and sub-genre categories (such as action, adventure, musical, experimental, surrealist, sci-fi, comedy, etc.). If it’s a hybrid (a combination of two or more genres), what are they? How does the film fit (or not fit) into its conventional, recognizable classifications?
  4. Maintain “Objectivity”: There is no such thing as objectivity, but aiming to maintain objectivity to what is being presented, without pre-judging the film based on what you’ve heard about it (from critics or friends), your preconceptions about the actors in it, the reputation of the director, etc.
  5. Evaluate production: Does the film have “high-production” values (with a glossy and expensive look)? Low-production values (it’s a low-budget, amateurish, B-film)
  6. Summarize: View the film as a whole, realizing that it is composed of the sum of all of its parts. Some individual parts may be ‘great’ but the film must hold together, and be cohesive and meaningful in its entirety. If you were to write a short ‘one-liner’ summary to describe the film (often called a synopsis or film treatment), what would it be?
  7. Feel, then think: Importantly, films are not always made for us to understand them in their entirety. In fact, many layers are delivered to us in order to infuse feeling, sensation, pain, joy, discomfort, or delirium. Allow yourself to lean into that, feel through the film, and once you have done this, think about the moves that caused you to emote these feelings (both pleasure and pain.

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