Leila Mukhida

Spectatorship and Contemporary German-language Autorenfilm

Supervisors: Professor Sarah Colvin and Dr Elystan Griffiths

Leila's PhD thesis reads selected contemporary German-language films through the lens of a particular strand of twentieth century film theory that has its origins in Brecht's 'Epic Theatre' and the neo-Marxist aesthetic theory of the German-Jewish intellectuals working at and with the Frankfurter Institut für Sozialforschung during the 1920s and 1930s. It shows how writings by Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer and Alexander Kluge on the subject of political film (specifically the relationship between director, film and spectator) have continuing relevance by using them as a theoretical framework to analyse some key phenomena in films by Michael Haneke, Ulrich Seidl and Valeska Grisebach among others.


Leila has a BA (Hons) in French and German Studies and an MA in German Cultural Studies from the University of Warwick. Previous to her PhD she lived in Berlin for 4 years, where she worked as a freelance translator, completed an internship with the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and participated in a video documentary project about the Muslim communities in the city. Leila is receiving a scholarship for her PhD from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University of Birmingham. She is a member of the IGS project running 2010-2013 entitled ‘Zeitgeist: What does it mean to be German in the 21st Century?’ and is writing her PhD on transnational co-productions in post-reunification German language cinema.


  • French and German Studies BA (Warwick)
  • German Cultural Studies MA (Warwick)

Research interests

  • European film production
  • German post-reunification cinema
  • German-Turkish film and literature
  • German colonialism
  • Authorship and film


Email: lxm034@bham.ac.uk