Course Description

Course Name

New Zealand Cinema

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


A study of New Zealand film with emphasis placed upon historical and theoretical approaches.

This paper is designed as a study of New Zealand cinema in its institutional and historical context with regard to some key issues. These issues include: the political economy of filmmaking in New Zealand; the socio-historical context of both the subject matter and production environment of several films; problems that arise in trying to articulate precisely what "New Zealand cinema" is and, by extension, what New Zealand is and who New Zealand filmmakers are (and, for that matter, New Zealanders generally). Ultimately, this will lead us to consider discourses of identity pertaining to several overlapping and conflicting forces: national, transnational, ethno-cultural and postcolonial.

Course Structure
MFCO 216 is divided into five modules:
-National identity, political economy and the production of culture
-Contested histories: Imagining New Zealand's past
-Postcolonial identities: New Zealand's 'melting pot'?
-Space and warfare: Land/cityscapes and power
-In pursuit of New Zealand-ness: Nationalism and transnationalism

-Short Essay (1,500 words) 20%
-Long Essay (2,000-2,500 words) 30% [25% plus 5% Hocken attendance]
-Participation Exercises 15%
-Evaluation (500 words) 5%
-Mid-Term and Final Exams 30% [15% each]

Learning Outcomes
-Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the central concepts, theories and current areas of debate in the study of Aotearoa/New Zealand cinema
-Expand your viewing range and understanding of Aotearoa/New Zealand films

Course reader

*Course content subject to change