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DHIS 2085A - War on Screens

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn and Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This seminar intends to address the sometimes complicated relationships between war and cinema: films used as a means to prepare war and then to wage it; war as it is described (or not) in movies; cinema used to (try to) tell what war is for the combatants and for the civilians who endure it and/or on the home front; relationships between movies and the memory of war. Whilst wars of the 20th and 21st centuries are the primary focus of the seminar, incursions in a wider chronology will occur occasionally. Our work will be based on the study of movies: screenplay(s), director(s) and actors, if possible context of production and of financing, nature of the film (fiction or documentary), content (summary of the plot, main characters, stylistic choices, possible “messages”), reception, position of the movie in the history and the memory of the war, etc. Some more in-depth and more critical analyses of specific scenes will be possible, and welcome. The films that we will mainly use are indicated bellow. But, of course, mentions by the students of their own ideas in terms of movies during their presentations will be very welcome. We will occasionally use series. We will also rely on the books from which some of the films were made. For example All Quiet on the Western Front, Capitaine Conan, La chambre des officiers, Army of Shadows, The Railway Man, The Silence of the Sea, Suite française, Heart of Darkness (for Apocalypse Now).


PIKETTY, Guillaume (Professor at Sciences Po)

Course validation

Presentation: 40 pts. Short essay (one page): 20 pts. Class participation: 40 pts.