In this seminar, we will examine cinematic discourses on issues related to social class, such as precarity and poverty, unemployment, housing, exploitation, social hierarchy and social shame. Whilst drawing on a range of theories about class, the main focus will be on the ways these issues are narrativized and presented through filmic devices and techniques. We will watch and analyse many films (or scenes from films) and discuss the implications of their aesthetic and narrative structures (such as optical and narrative point-of-view), of their construction of characters, and of how they engender sympathy for and empathy with those characters. While the majority of works discussed here will be fiction films, we will also take a look at documentary or semi-documentary films, and TV-series.

The course language is English but advanced language skills are not required.