Study Abroad and Exchanges



GER4011 : German Film up to 1945 (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In consonance with the overall aims of the degree programmes offered in the SML, this module aims to build on skills and knowledge gained at Stage 2.

The course provides an introduction to the films of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich (1919-45). In the Weimar Republic technological experimentation combined with a unique economic and political climate gave rise to some astonishing films. The primary emphasis will be on Weimar film (from Expressionist to experimental and documentary films), regarded by many as the ‘Golden Age’ of German cinema, and on the political and aesthetic “struggle for the film” during the early thirties. The course will also examine continuities and differences between Weimar and Nazi cinemas, looking at popular (and ostensibly non-political genres) as well as overtly “propagandistic” films.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Lectures will cover:
•       The emergence of mass culture and the beginnings of film in Germany
•       The influence of Expressionism on early German cinema
•       The politics of German cinema during the Weimar period
•       State control of the film industry in the Third Reich
•       Introductions to the key films and their directors

Seminars will focus on the following films:

•       Robert Wiene, Das Cabinett des Dr Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari), 1920
•       F.W. Murnau, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror), 1922
•       F.W. Murnau, Der letzte Mann (The Last Laugh), 1924
•       Fritz Lang, Metropolis, 1927
•       Slatan Dudow and Bertolt Brecht, Kuhle Wampe (Whither Germany), 1931-32
•       Hans Steinhoff, Hitlerjunge Quex, 1933
•       Leni Riefenstahl, Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), 1935
•       Veit Harlan, Jud Süß, 1940
•       Veit Harlan, Die goldene Stadt, 1942
•       Veit Harlan, Kolberg, 1945

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Rationale and relationship to learning outcomes:

•       Lectures convey the requisite background information and focus students on the central issues explored in the module
•       Seminars provide an opportunity for students to present information and arguments in an appropriate fashion independently and within a team.
•       Independent study activities enable students to engage with primary and secondary sources in preparation for classroom activities and for assessment purposes.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A50Students to answer two essay questions (written in English)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M50An essay of 2,000 words (written in English).
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MAn essay of 1,500 words (written in English)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessed essay and the examination allow students to demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas and arguments fluently and succinctly in writing. Both forms of assessment develop the following skills: independent research, bibliographical work, planning and organizing. The examination further demonstrates the ability of the student to retain key concepts and to marshal arguments within a limited space of time while the assessed essay demonstrates the student’s ability to engage with secondary literature critically and to write in a scholarly fashion, using footnoting and referencing.
Resit 3 hour exam Students to answer three essay questions.

SEMESTER TWO ONLY STUDY ABROAD: The coursework assessment needs an earlier submission date but otherwise remains unchanged.

Reading Lists