GERM 371 Deviates, Nazis, and Radicals. An Introduction to German Film

This course explores the trajectory of German film from its Expressionist beginnings to the present. How do the narratives presented aid in understanding the specific historical, social, cultural, and political moments in which they were produced? How are the technical aspects of film used to present given themes? We will begin with an examination of Weimar cinema, focusing on the films as windows into the artistic and social realities of Germany in the 1910s and 20s, before moving to an analysis of Nazi propaganda film. We will then turn to post-war German film. How do filmmakers respond to the need to come to terms with Germanys history? We will analyze films focusing on diverse themes, including guilt and culpability, depictions of the Holocaust, and the individual in a modernized, divided Germany. Subsequently, we will examine responses to unification, in particular representations of East Germany. In our final unit, we will look at contemporary films, in which individuals rebel against dominant cultural and social imperatives.