The women who changed history

Course Dates: 07/07/22
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
Location: Online
This online course will look at a series of mainstream feature films, including Silkwood (Mike Nichols 1984 US), Made in Dagenham (Nigel Cole 2010 UK) and Erin Brockovich (Steven Soderbergh 2000 US), which are based on historical incidents in which women took a stand for better working and/or living conditions. We'll explore the real women who changed history via their political/social activism; their on screen counterparts, and we will have a look at how filmmakers shaped their narratives for the silver screen.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00

Course Code: RCDHF01

Thu, eve, 07 Jul - 07 Jul '22

Duration: 1 session

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online film studies course will look at a selection of mainstream UK and US feature films based on real women who helped change history through their political and/or social activism. As Oscar Wilde wrote in The Critic as Artist (1891), ‘The one duty we owe history is to re-write it’. In this two-hour session we will look at a half dozen or so films based on women who made an impact on 20th century history through the films made about them. We will ask how filmmakers shaped their narratives to tell compelling movies for a mainstream audiences.
The films chosen feature women who made a stand for a change in working and living conditions, or who campaigned at critical moments for women’s rights in the 20th century. The films themselves span just over 40 years of filmmaking, in some cases a few years after the incidents they depict, in others 100 years afterwards. We will look at how and why these films were made, and think about whether the gender of those behind the camera makes an impact on the stories being told.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

The topics being covered will include:
- The Social, Cultural and Political contexts in which the films were made
- Insights into a selection of women who changed history
- The conventions of the bio-pic or the 'based on real events' genre
- Classic Narrative Structure and its use in mainstream cinema.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- An understanding of the importance of studying film through Social, Cultural and Political contexts
- An understanding of Classic Narrative Structure in mainstream cinema
- Identify and have insights into a selection of women who changed history
- Demonstrate some understanding of film form and its use as part of film storytelling.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is suitable for anyone; no prior film study is required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This online course will be taught via an illustrated talk with clips and the opportunity for discussion throughout.
If you have the time you could watch some of the films being covered in advance, but this is not essential.
Please note that key scenes will be shown from certain films, which could be considered ‘spoilers’.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs. You may wish to have access to a pen and paper or other device for recording notes, should you wish to do so.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

City Lit offers a wide range of courses in the Humanities and in Film in particular. For further study opportunities, please see:

Ellen Cheshire

Ellen Cheshire is a freelance film writer and lecturer. She has written books on Ang Lee and Jane Campion for Supernova Books, and Bio-Pics for Wallflower Press, and Audrey Hepburn and The Coen Brothers for Oldcastle Books. She has contributed chapters to books on Charlie Chaplin, James Bond, War Movies, Fantasy Films, Counterculture, Silent Cinema and an A Level Film Text Book.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.