A Persistent Eye for Change: The Cinema of Iciar Bollaín

Malcolm Compitello
Mondays 1 PM - 4 PM (AZ Time)
October 5, 12, 19, 26, and November 2, 2020
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A Persistent Eye for Change: The Cinema of Iciar Bollaín

Fall 2020
In Session
1 PM - 4 PM (AZ Time)
October 5, 12, 19, 26, and November 2, 2020





This class examines some of the award-winning films of the Spanish filmmaker Iciar Bollaín, who is among those who began their careers in the mid-1990s. Their work appears against the backdrop of the huge shadow cast by two important and very different sets of circumstances: the rise to international superstardom of Pedro Almodóvar and the consequence of this for the Spanish film industry, and the political shift to the right in Spain that sparked increasing social tension and dissent. Ms. Bollaín’s films weave together an impressive body of work that forms a riveting portrait of the issues that individuals confront in the complex society of the end of the 20th and first decades of the 21st centuries. A careful examination of the lives of the individuals and the social networks in Bollaín’s award winning films Flowers from Another World, (1999), Take My Eyes (2003), Mataharis (2007), Even the Rain (2010), and The Olive Tree (2016) suggests strategies for surmounting the issues that form our existence as individuals, families, communities, and nations, and also lets one see how gender, racial, and ethnic identities all play into this process.

Please Note: Fall 2020 Course Registration Opens Online on Monday, August 10th at 8AM (AZ Time)



  • All Fall 2020 courses will be ONLINE ONLY.
  • Courses will be delivered online via the Zoom video conferencing platform. All courses will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.
  • All class sessions will be recorded and made available to enrolled students for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times.
  • The Humanities Seminars Program reserves the right to cancel any seminar that fails to meet registration minimums. If a course is canceled all students enrolled in the canceled course will receive a full refund.

Required Reading: 

Secondary source material on Spanish cinema, filmmakers of the 1990s, and Ms. Bollaín’s work will be available on PDF.

Recommended Reading: 

Those who want to engage with a comprehensive view of how to analyze film might want to purchase the latest edition of David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s Film Art: An Introduction (New York: McGraw Hill).

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Professor and Program Director
Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Humanities Seminars Program

MALCOLM ALAN COMPITELLO is Professor of Spanish and Director of the Humanities Seminars Program. He has authored four books and numerous essays on Hispanic literatures and cultures, especially written and visual forms of narration. He is the Executive Editor of the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies and serves on the editorial boards of a number of publications in the area of Hispanic Studies.


This course will be offered ONLINE ONLY
Classes will be live streamed during the time and dates specified in the course details section above. Instructions about how to access the course online will be sent to all enrolled students before the course begins.

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