Jeff and I have been talking about ways to include discussions of pedagogy on Anthropoliteia, so I thought I’d give a shout out to a neat little documentary I came across recently (actually it was recommended to me by Gary Handman, the Director of the Media Resources Library here at Berkeley). The movie is called BookWars.
Gary suggested it once he found out about my class, when i came in to reserve some other movies (The Naked City, The Wire). One of the over-arching arguments of the course is that most of the anthropological writing about police happens in would-be asides or interludes of urban ethnographies which purport to be about other topics (poverty, etc.) but which draw on larger traditions of writing about police (think: the various genres of detective fiction) as a way to think through issues of power and modernity
Anyway, Bookwars is a nice little documentary for anyone dealing with issues in urban anthropology: race, economics, public space… and it’s a great illustration of my thesis about police in urban ethnography! You can see a trailer for the movie after the break (but, imho, the trailer doesn’t do the movie justice)