Politics, Protest and Propaganda

Duration: 120 min

Six weeks on Tuesdays from, 15th October – 19th November 7-9 pm

The course will take place in the Community Room at Crouch End Picturehouse
Course Leader: Dr Julia Wagner


This 6-week short course will explore the styles, movements and persuasive techniques of political films, from early cinema to today.

No prior knowledge necessary. Sessions will consist of lectures, group discussion and the viewing of clips from films being talked about.

Course outline:

Week 1: Persuasion and resistance: How have newsreel, documentary and fiction films galvanised support and opposition in wartime? We consider government-sponsored propaganda as well as critical filmmaking.

Week 2: Comedy and horror: Exploring political allegory in genre films. We look at the aesthetic, narrative and symbolic elements of comedy, horror and other genre films, analysing their persuasive and political function.

Week 3: Politicians on film: The styles, subjects and appeal of political biopics. A prolific and popular genre of filmmaking, biopics tell us a lot about how we choose, celebrate and construct cultural heroes – and the actors who play them.

Week 4: Strength in numbers: film collectives and social activism. This lecture focuses on feminist filmmakers, working in collectives to produce alternative socio-political narratives, which flourished in the UK and other countries including South America during the 1980s.

Week 5: Rights, fights and minority voices. How do films represent political struggle and raise consciousness? We explore politically challenging films often made in hostile environments, including gay rights activism, post-colonial and post-war cultural narratives.

Week 6: Exposé and outrage: How do subversive documentaries probe and expose people in power? Who is exposed and who is outraged, and how are these effects achieved? We look at the movements, implications and ethical considerations of polemical documentaries.

Tickets are £80 for the full six week course (£75 concession / £70 Picturehouse Members)



Exploring Cinema’s Power of Persuasion



Club and Group screenings

Tue 15th Oct 19.00 Film Course.



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