2013 Inquiry Seminars

2013 Inquiry Seminars

From Caligari to Hitler: German Films of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich

Jonathan Clark

Between World War I and the end of World War II, German cinema saw an explosion of films, which not only helped to define cinematic production but also an entire world view. This was Germany’s most productive age in cinema, and while films of the Weimar and Third Reich were very different in nature, one could argue that they were not unrelated and that Weimar cinema may have, in fact, anticipated Nazi Germany.

In this course, we will examine German films produced between 1918 and 1945 in order, first, to develop an appreciation for the films of this era. Second, we will try to understand what these films reveal about society and culture of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. Finally, these films will allow us an opportunity to reflect upon our own values, especially as they relate to questions of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and social class. OC