Spanish through Cinema

Course details

From £205.00
10 CATS points

24 Apr 2019 - 26 Jun 2019
Day of week

Spanish through Cinema


This course is a historical and critical overview of Mexican contemporary cinema. It is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the fantasies and realities represented on the screen and understand their cultural, political and sociological background.

Discover the use of Spanish language through the stories and tales narrated in Mexican cinema. We will discuss films from the most acclaimed actors and directors and their influences in class in order to grasp the historical, social and political conditions surrounding their production.

We will travel back in time to the early twentieth century to consider Mexico and analyse its history through the narrative of the screen. We will explore the Golden Age and the Novo Cine Mexicano while also finding time to consider the importance of certain icons and divas which still have influence in the production of Mexican media such as the telenovelas.

The class will be focused on speaking and exploring the different uses of the Spanish language. The course is aimed at students with intermediate proficiency in Spanish and wish to improve their fluency and familiarise themselves with Mexican cinema.

Programme details

Term Starts: 24th April     

Week 1: Introduction to the course. An overview of Mexican cinema

Week 2: Como agua para chocolate

Week 3: Arráncame la vida

Week 4: The Golden Age

Week 5: Transition Period

Week 6: El laberinto del fauno and other horror

Week 7: Amores Perros

Week 8: Y tu mamá también

Week 9: Presumed guilty, Mi vida adentro

Week 10: Politics and cinema

Background Reading;

Paz, O., El laberinto de la soledad    

Joanne Hershfield and David R. Maciel (eds.)., Mexico's cinema : a century of film and filmmakers   

If you are planning to purchase books, remember that courses with too few students enrolled will be cancelled. The Department accepts no responsibility for books bought in anticipation of a course.

If you have enrolled on a course starting in the autumn, you can become a borrowing member of the Rewley House library from 1st September and we will try to ensure that as many titles as possible are available in the Library by the start of each term. If you are enrolled on a course starting in other terms, you can become a borrowing member once the previous term has ended.


Recommended reading

All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.

There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information. 

Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.

Recommended Reading List


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from between January 1st and July 31st after the current academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Course Fee: £205.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00


Dr Lorena Nessi

Lorena Nessi PhD is a Swiss Mexican journalist, researcher, and cultural sociologist. Her Bachelor's was in International Relations, Master’s degree in Globalization, Identity and Technology, and PhD in Communication, Sociology and Digital Cultures.

Course aims

To explore the cultural, sociological and political forces inspiring Mexican cinematic representations.

Course Objectives:

1. Provide an insight into Mexican cinematic culture.

2. Introduce students to the representations made in Mexican cinema.

3. Enhance the understanding of Mexican culture while improving Spanish language fluency.

Teaching methods

Each class will include presentations which may make use of PowerPoint and film clips. Informal conversations and debate will be used to discuss and explore the symbols and meanings on the screen and students will be encouraged to contribute to group activities such as presentations, analyses, games, debate and conversations.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1. be able to appreciate and analyse films of Mexican directors

2. discuss films in Spanish

3. get an insight into Mexican culture and its use of Spanish

Assessment methods

Students will be assessed on one 1500 word essay on one of the films / topics seen in the course, written in Spanish. An optional writing task of 500 words will also be given in week 5 so that students can benefit from tutor feedback in advance of the formal assessment.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.