Joint-honours information for 2017 entry

Film and Revolution (A)

Module P4100A

Module details for 2017/18.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

Revolution and revolutionary movements have long been tied to advances in film language. This module will review radical and revolutionary film movements in history and then turn its sights to the contemporary wave of revolutionary expression, most notably from 2011 onwards in the Middle East and North Africa. Historical and contemporary film texts and movements will be examined in relation to questions of aesthetics, ideology, political expediency, and of course, history.

Some questions we will consider on this module:

• What makes a film revolutionary?
• What are the strategies for filming revolution in all of its aspects?
• Are films about revolution necessarily revolutionary films?

You will study films that emerge from the historical movements and moments, thereby learning film through history and history through film. Some examples of films we have studied in the past include Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy, 1966), October (Sergei Eisenstein, USSR, 1928), Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, USA, 1983), Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomas Gutierrez Alea, Cuba, 1968) and Out on the Street (Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk, Egypt, 2015)

Film and Revolution is taught through a combination of film screenings and seminars and assessed through a presentation and a written essay.


Bady, Aaron (2012) "Spectators to Revolution: Western Audiences and the Arab Spring's Rhetorical Consistency, Cinema Journal (Vol 52, no. 1)
Burton, Julianne (1986) Cinema and Social Change in Latin America, University of Texas Press
Chanan, Michael (2004) Cuban Cinema. University of Minnesota Press
Dabashi, Hamid (2012) The Arab Spring. Zed Books
Eisenstein, Sergei (1949/1977) Film Form. Trans/ed. Jay Leyda, Harcourt Brace & Co.
Espinosa, Julio Garcia (1969/1979) "For an Imperfect Cinema," in Jump Cut, no. 20.
Guneratne, Anthony R. and Wimal Dissanayake, eds. (2003) Rethinking Third Cinema (London: British Film Institute)
Michelson, Annette (1984) Kino Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov, University of Californa Press
Malitsky, Joshua (2013) Post-Revolution Nonfiction Film Building the Soviet and Cuban Nations, University of Indiana Press
Pines, Jim and Paul Willemen, eds. (1991) Questions of Third Cinema, BFI Publishing
Wayne, Michael (2001) Political Film: The Dialectics of Third Cinema, Pluto Press

Module learning outcomes

Identify and deploy critical discourses relevant to the study of film and revolution including Soviet film theory, Third Cinema, and philosophy of politics and aesthetics.

Analyse films of and aboutrevolution in ways attentive to their forms and contexts.

Work effectively independently and collaboratively.

Apply the critical approaches encountered in the module to original case study work.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
Group PresentationT1 Week 11 30.00%
EssayA1 Week 2 70.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterSeminar2 hours111111111110
Autumn SemesterFilm3 hours111111111110

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Prof Alisa Lebow

Convenor, Assess convenor

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