CSUN Documentary Directed by Students, Starring Professors

CSUN Documentary Directed by Students, Starring Professors

Faculty are known for doling out challenging and interesting assignments to students, but how about this one: Make a movie about the faculty.

This was the assignment for several students in California State University- Northridge’s department of Chicana/o studies after some professors realized students had little knowledge about the civil rights struggle that gave birth to the department.

The result is the documentary “Unrest,” which recently debuted and uses historical footage and present day interviews to tell this story: In the late 1960s, the campus, then known as San Fernando Valley State College, was mostly White and had little interest in Chicana/o heritage, until the civil rights movement empowered students to call for increased diversity on campus. “Their struggles eventually led to CSUN housing the largest Chicana/o studies department in the world,” says Gerard Meraz, an instructor who served as an advisor on the project.

The rave reviews are coming in from students. “There is so much I didn’t know,” says senior Miguel Duran, an art student who directed and edited the film. “Students and faculty were arrested and beaten just for trying to explore the basic knowledge of their cultures.”

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