Today's class went really well. The Tues/Thurs section is very sharp, very vocal, and asks many great questions. They have pushed me to show my hand about the relationship of this assignment to the research projects they will do starting with the third paper. Generally, students are simply immersed in the demands of the first assignment, and do not see the shape of the coastline they are approaching until it is upon them. This group sees it. They are thinking. They are ready, it seems, to run with it.
I am not sure whether this material is something that they are eager to grapple with, and are innately interested in, or if there is something about the film that has sparked their interest, but it is definitely working for many of the students in that class. I don't know about the Mon/Weds group, but this one is doing well, so far.