Film and History (Optional for III semester students)

-  Prof Ira Bhaskar and Prof Ranjani Mazumdar

Memory, history and time work through the cinematic narrative in ways that make the medium significantly different from all the other art forms. Film in a variety of ways lends itself to the possibility of organizing not just historical knowledge but also comments on the nature of historical narration. As an archive of sensations, of emotions, of images and of sounds, film works as a powerful recorder of life and its events and as a form of witnessing and testimony. Ideas of the past as they permeate the present through cinema will be analyzed in this course by looking at the different ways in which films make connections between history and evidence, between history and the present, between historical narration and the historical event, and between historical trauma, memory and representation. If the history of cinema is a history of the 20th century, it contains within its archive a history of modern subjectivity. Moving through questions of popular genres, documentaries, art cinema and avant-garde film practice, the course will explore the intricate relationship between film and history as it unfolds in the terrain of World Cinema.