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Mediterranean Cinema

Module Code: LN323
Module Name: Mediterranean Cinema
Module Coordinator: Dr Luca Peretti
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

This module aims to enhance student’s understanding of Mediterranean history, culture, and identity. Cinema will be used to explore issues such as travel, tourism, migration, orientalism, colonialism and postcolonialism. Students will develop a detailed knowledge of the area, explore the impact of colonially and postcoloniality on national cultures, understand how the Sea has been narrated though moving images. The topics discussed will include the orientalist representation of early cinema and how Europeans have filmed in North Africa; French colonial cities and their struggle for independence; the Mediterranean as a site of conflicts and encounters; the role of islands as a cinematic place; the current migration crisis. The analysis of the texts will be informed by theories of the Mediterranean, culture and film studies, national identity construction. Students will develop an awareness of how terms such as transnationalism, post colonialism, orientalism can be applied to the Mediterranean case.

Course Outline**

Week 1: Introduction to Mediterranean identity. Travelling and silent cinema. Shorts films by the Lumière’s brothers in North Africa. Zohra by Albert Samama-Chikli (1922, Tunisia).

Week 2: Colonial France. Ce que le jour doit à la nuit (Alexandre Arcady, 2012)

Week 3: The Mediterranean in the interwar. La Bandera (1935, Julien Duvivier, set in Spain and Morocco)

Week 4: World War II. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942, set in Morocco). Neapolitan episode of Paisan (Roberto Rossellini, 1946).

Week 5: Islands. Stromboli (Roberto Rossellini, 1950) Caro Diario (ep. Islands).

Week 6: Reading week

Week 7: Decolonisation. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966, set in Algeria).

Week 8: Migration crisis: Mediterranea (Jonas Carpignano, 2015).

Week 9: Tourism. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010).

Week 10: Exile. Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018, set in Marseille).

All films are available with English subtitles. Although lectures make reference to several films per week, students will be expected to watch one film per week.

**Course outline subject to change.

Mode of delivery

In academic year 2023-24 the mode of delivery will consist of one in-person lecture and one-hour seminar in each teaching week of the relevant term.

Assessment method:

  • 1 x 1250-1500-word commentary/ scene analysis (30%)
  • 1 x 2500 word essay (70%)