Sociological research lends itself well to documentary films. In an interview for Global Dialogue, a newsletter for the International Sociological Association, Joyce Sebag explains: “The documentary is a space of reflection. We do research to create this space for reflection, and as a way to debate with people who are not in the situation of being a sociologist, and, at the same time, to create something new. It is a meeting place. It is a way to enter into a multiplicity of points of view.”
I have produced cinematic sociology with Kum-Kum Bhavnani, an award winning filmmaker and professor at UC Santa Barbara (Nothing Like Chocolate), and am currently editing a documentary on youth activism filmed at the 2013 U.N. Climate Treaty Negotiations in Warsaw (Not Yet the End of the World). I have also produced a number of short films with students for use in the classroom.
In 2015, I produced a short documentary about the Maldives for the People’s Climate Summit in Paris, France to create a space for reflection on the future of the small island nation. The film, Gone Before the Wave, documents the hopes and struggles of the Maldivian people who face the dual challenge of rising seas and political upheaval after the 2012 coup of Mohamed Nasheed, popularly known as The Island President.