• Course Description:

    This course examines how film has envisioned and participated in revolutionary and proto-revolutionary movements from the 1920s to the present. Students will gain insight into debates regarding film aesthetics and politics in contexts such as the former Soviet Union, Third World Liberation, the African American freedom struggle, the global New Left of the 1960s and 1970s, the women’s movement, and more. We will also assess recent attempts to memorialize the revolutionary past via documentaries and docudramas. Seminar-style discussions will analyze filmmaking in its historical and theoretical complexity, touching above all on how filmmakers set out to challenge commercial cinemas at the level of form and content and reshape social relations (i.e. race, gender, class, sexuality and national identities) with the cinematic apparatus. Films by Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Santiago Álvarez, Sara Gómez, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, the Newsreel Collective, the L.A. Rebellion, Lizzie Borden, Hito Steyerl, and more will be included. Readings will be equally varied and challenging, but also engaging and thought provoking, drawing at once from film theory as well as left political philosophies of aesthetics, organizing, identity, and revolution.

  • Instructor(s): DAVID FRESKO (Assistant Undergraduate Director)