Film has served as a central entertainment medium in our culture for more than eight decades and as an important diversion since the mid-1890s. And yet film is more than simply a distraction. It has influenced how we think and how we perceive, perhaps even who we are. Early films can tell us much about how generations have thought in the past, while contemporary films informs us about our present day by addressing or omitting certain social, economic, or cultural issues. Study of film also challenges us to understand the specific contexts in which films have been conceived, produced, distributed and consumed, as well as the messages and ideologies that viewers absorb while watching a film. The Film Studies minor, then, offers students an opportunity to sharpen their analytical skills, while learning about an exciting and sometimes demanding medium.