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Film and Politics (Level 6)


Module description

In this module we examine different manifestations and articulations of the interrelationship between film and politics from the 1920s to the present day. We will focus primarily on four cultures: Spain, France, Japan and Germany. The material will be divided into a variety of themes, including film and expressionism, urban transformation, Latin American dictatorship, alienation and social class, the politics of realism, censorship and allegory and the politics of genre. We will look at:

  • a) the ways in which film can reflect on political developments both as they happen and in retrospect
  • b) how film can itself become a political instrument and whose purposes it can serve
  • c) how film can help to redefine the political.

Indicative syllabus

  • German Expressionism: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  • Realism as politics: El mundo sigue [Life goes on], Director: Fernando Fernán Gómez (1963)
  • Censorship and allegory: El espíritu de la colmena [The spirit of the beehive], Director: Víctor Erice (1973)
  • The politics of genre: Cerca de tu casa [At your doorstep], Director: Eduard Cortés (2016)
  • Dictatorship in Latin America
  • Urban transformation: Japan in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Urban alienation in France: La Haine

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will understand the relationship between individual films and the time and place of their production, and develop your film analytical skills.