Short courses


Cinema of the Margins

  • Wednesdays (7pm to 9pm)
  • 6 weeks


On this online evening course you'll study films that question and critique dominant power, ideologies and institutions in society, providing views from the margins, not encoded in hegemonic norms.

You'll explore a range of practitioners and practices, and different geographical and political contexts.

The course focuses on creative and nonconforming film and video approaches. Approaches that reclaim cinema as a praxis of dissent and resistance, a medium with the radical potential of challenging and disrupting the status quo, and a home for the marginal, oppressed, and subaltern identities and bodies.

You'll explore films which have experimented with cinematic codes in the pursuit of a deeply personal, formally experimental, and politically challenging language. Films that question dominant and disciplinary gazes on class, gender, race and sexuality. You'll look at ethics of imperfection, practices of self, process of becoming common through cinema.

Classes are held on Wednesday evenings, from 7pm to 9pm, over 6 weeks.

This course is run by the Open City Docs School, based in UCL's Department of Anthropology.

Who it's for

This course is open to anyone who is interested in the subject. You don't need any particular knowledge or experience to attend. 

Course content

Week 1 – Feminist cinema

The male gaze, feminist realist debate, avantgarde as counter-cinema, various artists.

Week 2 – Queer cinema

Blurring the boundaries of documentary, fiction and video art, subjectivity as a frontline strategy, hybrid mix of poetry and politics, memory and history, bodies and emotions, various artists i.e. Derek Jarman, Jack Smith.

Week 3 – Black cinema in the UK, US and France

Post-avantgarde, collective filmmaking, Melvin Van Peebles, Spike Lee, Isaac Julien, Sankofa, Ceddo, Black Audio Collective /John Akomfrah.

Week 4 – Third cinema and “imperfect” cinema in Latin America, Africa, Palestine, Kurdistan

Group Medvedkine, Glauber Rocha and the aesthetics of Hunger, Fernando Solanas and the idea of the South, Ousmane Sembene and the use of griot, Michel Kleifi, Yilmz Guney etc.

Week 5 – Independent political documentary in India and slow cinema in South-East Asia

Lav Diaz, Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Week 6 – Indigenous and Aboriginal cinema

Course team

Ludovica Fales

Ludovica Fales

Filmmaker and artist Ludovica Fales has been making independent documentary and experimental films since 2007, following on a BA-MA in Philosophy in Rome and Berlin. After an MA in Documentary Direction at the NFTS in 2011, she travelled around the Mediterranean area, across the Balkans and in the Middle East, making films and working closely and collaboratively with vulnerable communities around the world and using filmmaking as a conflict resolution tool.

Adele Tulli

Adele Tulli

Adele Tulli is a filmmaker and an academic researcher interested in documentary experimental practices, as well as in gender and queer studies and visual anthropology. In 2018 she has completed a practice-based PhD at Roehampton University in London, exploring subversive film aesthetics within queer and feminist contexts.

Course information last modified: 20 Jun 2024, 12:57