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PL30972: Film und Geschichte

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 33%, ES 67%
Assessment Detail:
  • Film Analysis (CW 33%)
  • Essay (ES 67%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: By the end of this unit, students will be able to:
* Discuss the historical significance of examples of German history films in their context;
* Analyse the varying approaches to the narration of national history on film in Germany, including generic considerations;
* Understand the role of montage, camerawork, mise-en-scéne, acting, music, etc. in the presentation of German history on film;
* Critically assess the role of film as a form of cultural memory in Germany's ongoing negotiation of its national history.

Aims: This unit aims to familiarise students with the history of film as a medium in Germany, with a particular focus on the portrayal of history in film. Historical films have been a staple of narrative cinema from its inception. Germany's turbulent 20th century has meant that film has taken on a significant popular role in mediating a national history whose interpretation has often been the subject of controversy. This unit aims to allow students to explore the significance of film as a form of cultural memory in the German context, covering the period from the end of the First World War to the present day. It will also allow students to relate the films studied to contemporaneous public debates on Germany's historical development.

Skills: Skills in critical analysis, precision in the use of written and spoken language, exercise of independent judgement, reasoned argument, effective communication, teamwork and the planning/conduct/reporting of non-quantitative research are developed and assessed in this unit.

Content: Topics addressed may include: First World War films from the Weimar Republic; National Socialist history films; films addressing World War Two in both post-war German states; the New German Cinema's reckoning with German history; contemporary 'heritage films'; films dealing with the legacy of the East German dictatorship; and films addressing Germany's history as a country of immigration. The unit will be taught in German.

Programme availability:

PL30972 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UHPL-AYB12 : BA(Hons) German and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB05 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies (French and German) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB06 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies (German and ab initio Italian) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB23 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies (German and Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AYB04 : BSc(Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (German) with Year Abroad (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.