FTVM 333 - Fascist Cinemas
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Film, Television, and Media Std (FTVM)
Department: LSA Film, Television, and Media
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Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
FTVM 150 or FTVM (SAC) 236.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course explores the fascist-era cinemas of Germany, Italy, and Japan. We will analyze important films from the era at weekly screenings, and will study historical documents and critical essays to help us understand the context. After we’ve defined some terms and covered some basic history at the beginning of the semester, the course focuses on a set of common themes to identify both commonalities and specificities of a given context or historical moment. The themes include: fascist aesthetics; nation, “Volk,” race, ethnicity; anti-Semitism; youth and movement; the exalted leader; propaganda and spectacle; entertainment and pleasure; film style; bodies and genders; war fronts and home fronts; and post-fascist visual culture.

The goals of this class are to deepen your historical knowledge; to foster a sense for the political and ideological power of culture, and of the cinema in particular; to learn to discuss questions of race and ethnicity in specific historical and geopolitical contexts; and to sharpen your ability to engage critically with the power of the moving image. In other words, this course explores not only the history and aesthetics of film, but also their relation to politics and society. Ideally, you will leave this course with a new sensitivity for the dangerous power of Fascist ideology — whether in the cinemas of the 1930s and 40s, in ongoing debates on history and memory, or in today’s popular culture. We will work out our understanding of these matters through lectures, discussions, and through writing.

Course Requirements:

In addition to regular class attendance and participation, requirements include a midterm exam, a final, and a number of writing assignments: weekly film journals, shared online reading responses, and four papers ranging from 2 to 5 pages. The first of these will be devoted to critical discussion of a short film sequence in light of Susan Sontag’s essay “Fascinating Fascism"; the second will ask you to analyze one film in light of Jason Stanley’s How Fascism Works; the third asks you to analyze Nazi anti-Semitism by drawing connections between a film and a historical source; and the fourth will ask you to make comparisons between two films of your choosing from two different countries. Papers #2 and #3 will require peer review and rewriting, in keeping with ULWR guidelines.

Intended Audience:

All undergraduates

Class Format:

Two 1-hr lectures; one GSI-led section; one weekly screening.


FTVM 333 - Fascist Cinemas
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:00PM
002 (LAB)
 In Person
W 4:00PM - 7:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM

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