Assignment: Long Live Benjamin https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/opinion/long-l

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Assignment: Long Live Benjamin

Watch the six-part documentary from the New York Times/Op Doc series. Treat this assignment creatively. Use your sociological imagination; consider the intersection of history and biography, as well as simple, creative interpretation. Be insightful and broad minded in your analysis. Do NOT reiterate what’s happening on screen – explain everything from a broad view — sociologically, culturally, politically, personally. I have provided a few prompts for you to consider as you watch each segment. Try to compose a long paragraph for each episode and put them together as a final paper, due Jan 4 NOON. (One half grade off for each day late). Episode 1 Long Live Benjamin
What’s going on here? Consider the significance of the timing of Benjamin coming into Allen’s life; why Allen is in Venezuela? What does the arrival of the monkey mean to you? What about how the monkey is found?
Quote: “We talk to our cars, so why not a dead frozen monkey?”
Episode 2 Closest Relationship I Ever Had
What happens when Benjamin goes out in the city? What does Allen say about owning “a pet”? What is going on here? What about the interactions between the monkey and average NY’ers?
Quote: “We were like twins, two parts of the same whole.”
Episode 3 New York Was No Place For A Monkey
How has the relationship between Allen and Benjamin, and his family evolved? What is Benjamin doing with the cigar and what do you make of this? What does Benjamin do to Allen’s perspective? Do you think the monkey becomes the ‘master’ and the human the ‘pet’?
Quote…”we were part of a magic circle…
Episode 4 Our Relationship Would Protect Us
Protect us from what? Whose relationship does this refer to? Continue to consider the relationship between Allen and Benjamin, his wife, career and life. Does Allen ever lose his patience with Benjamin? What happens as Allen travels from place to place with Benjamin? What does their journey from Mexico to the US tell us about people, power, politics?
Quote: “It was like transporting a nuclear weapon…”
Episode 5 I Lost My Face
What’s going on here? What about Allen’s interest in drawing Benjamin? What about Benjamin and drawing?
Quote: “(Benjamin)…he did not want to be captured…”
Episode 6 We Are Part Of The Same Creature
Consider the role rituals play in life. What about Allen’s actions after Benjamin is buried? Please share your impressions overall…
Quote: “I’m turning into part animal…”
https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000004950815/long-live-benjamin-episode-1.html

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