Cinema in Spain and Latin America (FALL ONLY)

Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Cinema in Spain and Latin America (FALL ONLY)

  • Host University

    Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

  • Location

    Bilbao, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, Film Studies, Latin American Studies

  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course is an approach to Spanish and Latin American cinema, especially focused on the productions of the last 20 years. A variety of films from different countries, belonging to this period of time, will be watched and analyzed in class. The students will have the chance to learn about the cultural, social and aesthetic values portrayed. These films will also be used as learning material for students to develop their language skills through activities based on listening and conversation. Such activities include the very process of watching the films followed by class discussion.

    The number of full movies to be seen in class may vary from year to year. The lecturer will choose different ones depending on the needs and requirements of the particular group they are in charge of. Some films may not be watched entirely but certain fragments will be selected and analyzed. Of course, students are very welcome to watch these films in full outside the classroom.

    The student must be registered for Spanish 301 or have an equivalent level.

    1. Introduction
    1.1. First approach to Spanish and Latin American Cinema
    1.2. Basic

    2. Spanish Cinema
    2.1. Pedro Almodóvar and his cinematic universe: Volver (2006)
    2.2. Intimist cinema and Isabel Coixet. Mi vida sin mí (2003)
    2.3. Back to silent movies. Blancanieves (2012), de Pablo Berger

    3. Latin American Cinema
    3.1. Luis Buñuel and Mexican cinema. El ángel exterminador (1966)
    3.2. Cinema as a tool for social and political change in Cuba. Fresa y
    Chocolate (1993) by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.
    3.3. Juan José Campanella and New Argentine Cinema. El hijo de la
    novia (2001) and El secreto de sus ojos (2009)
    3.4. A co-production between Colombia and the USA. María, llena
    eres de gracia (2004) by Joshua Marston.
    3.5. Uruguayan cinema. Whisky (2004) by Juan Pablo Rebella and
    Pablo Stoll.
    3.6. Alejandro González Iñárritu and the worldwide phenomenon of
    Mexican cinema. Biutiful (2010)
    3.7. The focus of women in Venezuelan cinema. Pelo malo (2013) by
    Mariana Rondón.
    3.8. Recent Chilean cinema. El club (2015) by Pablo Larraín and Una
    mujer fantástica (2017) by Sebastián Lelio.


    This course features a combination of: lectures on historical and cinematographic characteristics of a number of films; and practical lessons, in which students will discuss and analyze the films. In order to do this correctly, students will carry out various activities prior to watching and analyzing, such as close reading of critiques, of reviews and of historical documents. Students will need to read and prepare these documents before attending class.

    Documents to work on, both in class and at home, will be handed out.

    In addition to the regular homework (close reading, exercises, preparation of class discussions...) throughout the semester, students must hand in the following coursework: 

    • A research-based essay (8 to 10 pages) in which the student must analyze and discuss a specific topic of choice (either of cinematic nature or of social, cultural, historical or political nature) across at least two films from the syllabus of the course.
    • After each film and its subsequent class discussion, the student must hand in a personal review of the film, of 1 to 2 pages in length. At the end of the course, the student should compile a dossier containing the totality of reviews they have written throughout the semester, as well as an introduction about the different films and a conclusion addressing the most important themes dealt with in the reviews.

    The student’s final grade shall be calculated on the basis of the following percentages:

    • In-class participation: 10 %
    • Essay: 30 %
    • Homework: 20 %
    • Dossier of film reviews: 40 %


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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