Course Description

Course Name

German Cinema

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

18 200-level MFCO or FIME points or one of GERM 242, GERM 243, GERM 244, GERM 202, GERM 203

Taught In English

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


An advanced study of the development of German cinema from the silent era to the present which centres on issues arising from German responses to the onset of modernity, the demands of the fascist period, the renegotiation of personal, social and national identity after 1945 and the experience of postmodern culture.

Where would film noir, horror or science fiction films be today without classics of Weimar Berlin cinema like W. F. Murnau's Nosferatu: a Symphony of Terror, or Fritz Lang's Metropolis or M? From the 1920s onwards, German cinema has contributed significantly to development of international screen culture. Students of film, media and German studies will come to understand the many ways in which German moving images have responded to and helped to shape national and international screen histories to the present.

Course Structure
MFCO 316 centres on the examination of aesthetic, political and social issues arising from German responses to four distinct periods of cultural reorientation:
-The onset of urban-industrial modernity and consumerism
-The imposition of National Socialism
-The renegotiation of personal, social and national identity after 1945
-The experience of post-industrial culture and, after 1989, of Germany's reunification to the present

-Essay 1: 20%
-In-class test: 20%
-Essay 2: 30%
-Final examination (2 hours): 30%

Learning Outcomes
At the completion of this course students should be able to:
-Relate examples of the screen culture of the periods studied to changes occurring in German social, political and cultural life in an international context
-Understand the role of cinematic discourse in the ongoing construction of notions of German society, gender, class, ethnicity and projections of national identity
-Show an understanding of the contribution of selected examples of German screen culture to cinema as an international culture
-Discern and articulate formal and aesthetic practices operative in selected examples of German cinema in relation to critical perspectives provided by film theory and cultural analysis

The Course Reader and other supporting material are available on Blackboard.

*Course content subject to change