Propagating Modernity

Thomas Elsaesser

in The Oxford Handbook of Propaganda Studies

Published in print December 2013 | ISBN: 9780199764419
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Propagating Modernity

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This chapter looks at German propaganda films across the political divides of the 1930s, under the aspect of institutions (political parties, local pressure groups, governments) utilizing the affective and rhetorical power of the new mass medium to "build a better world" after the human ravages of the Second World War and the economic ravages of the Wall Street Crash. Because both political Left and the Right in Europe were wooing the working classes by offering better living conditions, beautiful cities, and modern housing, an intriguing picture of everyday life emerges in this decade between the wars. It proves the cinema's growing role in documenting as well as shaping this quintessential period of urban "modernity," which includes factory work, hygiene, health, and sports.

Keywords: German propaganda films; modernity; urban living conditions; factory work; hygiene; health; sports; industrial films

Article.  11983 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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