This module examines the various ways in which cinema can be used to articulate a political message or advance a political cause. Drawing on films from the major Western European nations (e.g. France, German, Italy and Spain) and from a variety of historical periods from the 1930s to the present, it will examine and contrast the ideological functions of cinema in a range of different geopolitical contexts. The films studied will encompass a range of forms such as explicit propaganda films of the totalitarian regimes, left-wing counter-cultural filmmaking of the sixties, and popular genres such as the 'political thriller'.
This module appears in the following module collections.
Total Contact Hours: 20
Method of assessment
Essay 1 (1,500 words) – 40%
Essay 2 (1,500 words) – 40%
Seminar Presentation (10 minutes) – 20%
Indicative Reading List:
Bordwell, D. and Thompson, K. (1994) 'Political Cinema in the West' in Film History: An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill
Kellner, D. (1993) 'Film, Politics, and Ideology: Towards a Multiperspectival Film Theory' in James Combs (ed.) Movies and Politics: The Dynamic Relationship. New York/ London: Garland Publishing
Halligan, B. (2016) Desires for Reality: Radicalism and Revolution in Western European Film. New York/ Oxford: Berghahn Books
Lombardi, G. (ed.) (2016) Italian Political Cinema. Oxford/ Bern/ Berlin/ Bruxelles/ Frankfurt/ New York/ Wien: Peter Lang
Tzioumakis, Y. and Molloy, C. (eds) (2016) The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Politics. London/ New York: Routledge
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate cogent understanding of the ways in which ideology functions within a mass media form such as the cinema;
Demonstrate conceptual understanding of current approaches to the relationship between film and politics;
Comprehensively analyse, using established techniques, the different ways in which cinema has functioned politically in a range of national, historical and political contexts within Europe;
Critically engage with a number of films and demonstrate coherent and detailed knowledge of different European national traditions.
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Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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