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GER 321 History of German Film

Prerequisite: GER 207 or GER 208 or permission of the department chair. (First semester, course is offered as needed/3 credits) 

This is an introductory course that analyzes a selection of feature films and documentaries from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These films will be discussed as cultural artifacts which portray through different genres and epochs issues of national identity, East/West relations and reunification, gender, memory and dealing with the past. Directors such as Fritz Lang, G.W. Pabst, Rainier Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta and others will help trace the history of German film. Lectures and discussions will provide the cultural background required to understand the films and connect them to social, aesthetic and philosophical movements. The question whether American film (i.e., the Hollywood film industry) has “colonized” German society as reflected through film will also frame discussions in the course. Written assignments will require students to critique films, discuss the evolution of film technology and cinematography and analyze the particular film’s cultural-historical significance.