Film and Revolution (P4100A)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

Since the advent of film it has been harnessed in the service of political change, whether as witness, catalyst or mouthpiece.

Film has been used to document momentous historical events, celebrate or vilify them in retrospect, indoctrinate future generations and to both construct and contest the master narratives of history. Lenin recognized film as “the most important art” for revolutionary movements, and since the Russian Revolution it has remained a key component of every revolutionary struggle.

This module reviews radical and revolutionary film movements in history and through today's contemporary wave of revolutionary expression, most notably from 2011 onwards in the Middle East and North Africa.

You examine film texts and movements in relation to questions of aesthetics, ideology and political expediency. What makes a film revolutionary? What are the strategies for filming revolution in all of its aspects? What is film's role in social and political change?

Students will engage with theories, manifestos and historical writings as well as a range of powerful filmic examples from around the world.


60%: Lecture (Film)
40%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 60 hours of contact time and about 240 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: