Polycrystalline films of Fe5Si3have been prepared by RF sputtering from a sintered target composed of 62.5 at% Fe and 37.5 at% Si. The Faraday rotation and optical absorption were measured for these films in the visible and near infrared. At a wavelength of 6328Å, room-temperature absorption (corrected for reflection) and specific Faraday rotation are 3.7 × 105cm-1and 1.3 × 105deg/cm, respectively. The rotation decreases with rising temperature and vanishes around 120°C, the Curie temperature of the films. From polar and in-plane hysteresis loop measurements the spontaneous magnetization is found to lie in the film plane. Square hysteresis loops are observed when the external field is applied in the plane of the film, and the in-plane coercive force decreases monotonically with temperature at an average rate of -2 Oe/°C as Tcis approached.