2007-2008 Documenting Justice Class

Nineteen students enrolled in the second year of Documenting Justice, representing the departments of Economics, English, Law, New College, Telecommunication and Film, International Studies, Psychology, Arabic, Social Work, and Spanish. In the fall of 2007, Documenting Justice students participated in a conversation with Oscar-nominated and award-winning filmmaker Albert Maysles. Maysles discussed his five-decade career as a documentary filmmaker, including his work on films like Gimme Shelter, about the Rolling Stones, and cinema verite classics Grey Gardens and Salesman.

The films produced by this class included:

The Old Road tells the story of Willie King, a seasoned blues musician, who uses his artistic talent and practical knowledge to help make the citizens of the small town of Aliceville self-sufficient. (Braxton Comer; Jesse Homan)

Searching for a Sign looks at a reputed “sundown town” and explores impressions and actualities of race relations in the South by examining widespread beliefs about a sign once present at the city’s entrance. (Britany Binkowski; Lindsey Mullen)

Storybook is about the challenges of parenting from prison and how one program – Storybook – attempts to ease that strain through storytelling. (Kristian Jordan Collins; Stephen Lovell)

Fine Lines investigates the history and effects of the Tuscaloosa City School  Board’s decision to rezone local school districts. (Lucy Ricketts; Cory Pennington)

Searching for Normal follows one of the filmmakers, an Iraq Veteran, as he tries to make sense of his experiences both in combat and returning home.  Looking for answers, he talks with four veterans who discuss life after their tours in Iraq. (Elizabeth Jones; Dick Powers)

Foundation for Success explores how a low-performing, high-poverty school became one of the most outstanding schools in Alabama in just three years.  E.D. Nixon Elementary School in Montgomery demonstrates that with dedicated teachers, consistently high expectations, and constant assessment of student progress, every child can learn and achieve at high levels. (Sarah Louise Smith; Mitch De Anda)