Totalitarianism, Dictatorship and Propaganda

Paul Grainge, Mark Jancovich and Sharon Monteith

in Film Histories

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619061
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670888 | DOI:
Totalitarianism, Dictatorship and Propaganda

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This chapter discusses film industry regulation in totalitarian states. It is often suggested that in the totalitarian states of the 1930s — the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and the Japanese Empire — cinema was no more than a crude form of state propaganda. Certainly these were not liberal states and overt opposition was not tolerated, but it would be equally wrong to see the films that were produced in these countries as simply propagandist. The chapter also includes the study, ‘Ideology as Mass Entertainment: Boris Shumyatsky and Soviet Cinema in the 1930s’ by Richard Taylor, which shows that, while Soviet cinema is usually seen as an organ of the Soviet state, it was actually organised as a commercial activity that was expected to stand on its own two feet financially.

Keywords: film industry; regulation; Soviet Union; Nazi Germany; Italy; Japan; state propaganda; cinema; Richard Taylor; Soviet cinema

Chapter.  13148 words. 

Subjects: Film

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