Skip to main content

Portuguese, Brazilian, and African Identity in Film

The course format includes two weekly classes with a combination of lectures, in-class group and plenary discussions, as well as student presentations. Students will view a selection of feature-length films in and out of class. Based on assigned readings, the students will describe, discuss and analyze the films in group discussions, plenary discussions, student presentations, Q/A sessions and papers. Think-share-pair and the jigsaw technique will be applied in group discussions to foster collaborative learning, and Socratic questioning will be practiced in group and plenary discussions to foster critical thinking. The course is divided into 4 units, each one functioning as a learning scaffolding for the following: 1. Foundational concepts. 2. Technical/cinematographic terminology. 3. History of the Lusophone countries. 4. Critical analysis and the paper writing process.

Drawing on Anglophone and Lusophone sources, the course describes, analyzes and compares questions of racial, gender and national identity in film from Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Portugal. Identity is studied from different perspectives in order to

  • determine which values are reflected in the films;
  • consider the films’ content in the context of human difference within the national and cultural communities of origin;
  • understand how the cinema of the Lusophone countries relate to the historical circumstances of their creation.

Students describe, compare and analyze the historic and cultural processes that shaped the Lusophone world and its peoples. They develop a deep knowledge of how historic and contemporary processes and differential and transnational effects of colonialism, war, and nation formation affect the lives of individuals and communities. The course is designed to teach students how to detect and compare differing views of race, gender and nation and to detect connections and differences between particular views, experiences, and power structures. We will pose questions that require systematic thinking about evidence, argument and uncertainty.

Gen Ed: VP, BN