Erman Civilization Lesson 3: German Expressionism and Dadaism

When you can accomplish the learning objectives for this lesson, you should begin work on the lesson essay described below. You may use any assigned readings, your notes, and other course-related materials to complete this assignment. Be sure to reread the essay grading criteria on the Grades and Assessments page.

This essay should be about 750 words long, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. It is worth 100 points and should address the topic below.

According to Siegfried Kracauer, the film The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari by Robert Wiene (1919) was revolutionary not only because of its expressionist form but also because of its political message. In your essay, briefly elaborate what this expressionist form consists of and how it reflects the movement as a whole. Then relate these general characteristics of Expressionism to the formal characteristics of Wienes film and to the films sociopolitical message. This will require you not only to reflect upon the overall situation in Germany at the time, but also the comment upon Kracauers view that the narrative frame added later to the film completely undermines its revolutionary impulse.