SOAS University of London

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Films of Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1

Module Code:
155901317
Credits:
15
FHEQ Level:
4
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Term 2

This module provides a critical introduction to the film and screen cultures of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Approaching film in terms of cultural identity and self-expression, this module will place screened films within a general framework of national tradition and identity and provide a platform for students to reflect on the unity and diversity of the human condition across different regions. A selection of 21st century films will be explored within their cultural, social and political context of production, exhibition and reception, and students will be guided to reflect on different functions of cinema.

Through critical analyses and interpretations of films, this module will examine issues including (but not limited to): nation and ethnicity; home and family; history and memory; war and conflict; colonialism and nostalgia; politics and propaganda; exile and diaspora; women and gender; popular youth culture and globalization; transnational connections.

Students will be introduced to the basics of film language to enhance their critical capacity and strengthen their analytical vocabulary.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of Asian, African and Middle Eastern cinema and its relation to culture, history, politics and aesthetics;
  2. Discuss a number of key films and genres with reference to the cultural and historical contexts in which they were produced
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of how the films can be utilised to project national agendas and identities;
  4. Recognise and explain differences in local, regional and global responses to films
  5. Develop critical responses to cinematic work based upon aesthetic or cultural values

Workload

Total Taught Hours: 50 hours, including 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of seminars per week for 10 weeks.

Independent Study: 100 hours

Total Hours for Module: 150 hours

Scope and syllabus

The module will be divided into five two-week blocks drawing on films and screen cultures from Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia.

The themes will be drawn from the following topics: nation and ethnicity; home, family and belonging; history and memory; war and conflict; the city; religion and spirituality; colonialism and nostalgia; politics and propaganda; exile and diaspora; women and gender; love and romance; popular youth culture and globalization; transnational connections.

Method of assessment

  • Module viewing diary/blog (1000 words) 20%
  • Essay (2000 words) 50%
  • 1 Video presentation/podcast/narrated PowerPoint (5 minutes) 30%

Suggested reading

A comprehensive reading list  will be supplied by the convenor at the beginning of the module.

Disclaimer

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules