The aim of this project is to investigate the contribution of philosophical films to understanding a range of ways in which authoritarian and totalitarian states can be resisted: through protest and amelioration of conditions, through legal contestation, such as plebiscites and strikes, through exile, and through truth-speaking. Each of the means used to resist are non-violent and the project explores the possibilities of non-violent resistance as they are articulated through film. The textual sources used for the project will include discussions of the films, film-philosophy and philosophical theorising about resistance to totalitarianism, such as the work of Hannah Arendt, Howard Caygill, Drew Dalton, and Todd May on resistance. This project will advance thought in political philosophy and film-philosophy through considering the unique contribution of cinema to understanding non-violent resistance, by focusing on the philosophical accounts that film, crossing genres between documentary and dramatic film, and across time and different regimes, such as the apartheid regime in South Africa, the German Democratic Republic, the Chilean Civic-Military Dictatorship and contemporary Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Indonesia can provide. Students working on the project can choose the films to work on in consultation.

This project is open to students with a background in philosophy, and could also be suitable for students with a background in film studies. Ideally the student will be in Year 2 or 3 of their degree.

For further info contact Associate Professor Marguerite La Caze