Film in the Developing World: Africa


INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Hanly

SECTION: RVKA (Summer A) and RVM (Fall)

SCHEDULE: Online (Summer A and Fall)

Course Description

While much of the world celebrates the work of the great film-makers of the U.S.A, France, Germany and Japan, extraordinary filmmaking has been accomplished, often in nearly impossible circumstances, across the Third World. This course will examine some of those films. It sets out to focus equally on the artist values in a film, as well as the film’s social political and historical context.

How then do these filmmakers work with camera, light, sound and direction to tell their stories?

What were the political and cultural circumstances in country at the time the film was made? How difficult was it to make the film, in both political and economic terms? What is the film telling us about subtle as well as more obvious cultural concerns and realities? How was the film received in-country? How was it received internationally? How might it inform our understanding of these countries today?

This course poses still more questions.

Do different culture’s approach “narrative” structure differently? What is the role of the story-teller and the madman in film in various countries? Are some techniques that we identify as iconically ‘American’ far more international than we realize? Have some of Hollywood’s greatest directors –Alfred Hitchcock, for instance, been out-Hitchcocked, by great Egyptian directors like Youssef Chantine?

During the Summer A and Fall Semesters, this stand-alone, QM approved fully online course will focus on African film.