Free Online Course Module - World Culture Through Film

GED155 - World Culture Through Film


Welcome to World Culture Through Film! In this course, you will have the opportunity to view a number of international films which highlight cultures from around the world. By viewing the films, completing the readings and finishing all the assignments, you will gain:

  1. An increased self-awareness of cultural influences on your own worldview.
  2. An attentiveness to key attributes and characteristics of other culture groups.
  3. An understanding of what it takes to negotiate other cultures successfully. By the end of the course, your cultural competence should increase, taking you one step closer to becoming a true global citizen.


This week we focus on investigating culture. Culture, at heart, refers to the features that describe a society at any given time. And culture, like society, is always changing. Language, music, film, food, clothing, marriage, social habits—all of this is culture. As humans, culture is one of our defining characteristics.  

This course is aimed at exploring diverse cultures from around the world through the films of those regions. However, before we begin watching and studying international film (week 2), it is important to take some time to explore the importance of cultural diversity. 

In her TEDx Talk, Elisa Horhager argues that culture shapes how we love, fight, dream and think about ourselves. She uses a key aspect of culture, language, to explore Chinese culture.

Watch the TEDx Talk:


In a key part of her brief lecture, Horhager demonstrates how learning a new culture "is not just learning another professional skill, it's giving yourself the opportunity to change." This is something that is also explored in Julien S. Bourelle's TEDx Talk. 

Bourelle argues that "people see the world through cultural glasses. The lens through which your brain sees the world shapes your reality." By this, he means that everything we do, say and feel is influenced by culture. As such, understanding someone else's culture is an opportunity to better understand their actions, words and feelings.

Watch the TEDx Talk:

Bourelle believes that learning about new cultures and encouraging cultural diversity benefits industries as well as individuals, arguing that "cultural diversity increases problem-solving abilities[,] creativity and innovation." 

The last TEDx Talk you will need to watch this week is Ralph Strozza's "Cultural Awareness in a Globalized World."

Watch the TEDx Talk:


Ralph Strozza argues that, beyond just encouraging people to view other cultures (and their own cultures) through a new lens, there is a practical, economic benefit to broadening our cultural awareness.