The Effect Film Had On Wwii Propaganda — страница 2

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German film policy, and that doinog so would increase the effectiveness of film in propaganda and popular enligtenment. Hitler recognized films effectiveness early. Not only does it influence popular opinion but films relative great costs “pay off”: film stock, equipment, studios, the large technical and artistic staffs, et, all cost a lot of money, but the result, the finished film, may bring in tens of thousands whose admission fees not only cover the costs, but result in a good profit. Hitler’s answer to the lack of attendence was to estaiblish the extremly powerful Ministry of Propaganda, and to nationalize the film making process. In this propaganda war Germany and its allies seemed to initially have a distinct advantage. Because their governments controlled all media,

they could largely seal off their peoples from Western propaganda. At the same timve, the highly centralized government could plan elaborate propaganda campaigns and mobilize resources to carry out their plans. They could also count on aid from Nazi parties and sympathizers in other countries. Democratic states, on the other hand, could neither prevent their peoples from being exposed to Nazi propaganda nor mobilize all their resources to counter it. Before each new aggressive move by Germany, as for example, against Czechoslovakia in 1938, the German press, radio and newsreels publicized alleged evidence of persecution of German minorities in the victim country. Incidents were manufactured and exploited to justify German intervention, and the German war machine was depicted as

invincible. The technique proved effective in dividing poplulations, weakening the power of the victim to resist, and causing its allies to hesitate. By 1941 Nazi propaganda films were being shown in evening shows 45,000 times every month in areas that are without movie theaters. Nine to ten million citizens see both the latest films and the German Weekly Newsreel. More than 30 million soldiers received relaxation and entertainment from films shown by the party. In addition the 80,000 to 100,000 veterans of the war that return back to the Reich monthly are shown films in their camps. Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 of 1940 33.7 million adults and 6 million youths were reached by party film shows. The proceding numbers and facts prove that this task is being met, even when one

considers that it is not being carried out by a fully-staffed and experienced team. Ruffly 50% of the Ministry’s people joined the army when the war broke out. Yet they were still able to wield this propaganda and use it to reach out to far more people then they other wise would have been able to. The French and British also attmepted to fight back and gain support for their causes through propaganda. In 1944 the British Ministry’s Film Division asked Alfred Hitchcock to make two French language adventrue movies designed as war propaganda films. They were to be produced to raise the spirts of people in Occupied France and gain support for the French resistance there. So in the winter of 1944 “Aventure malgache”(which translate as “Madagascan Adventure”) and Bon Voyage

were made over a four week period in Occupied France. Having already edited a pair of English war documentaries (that were directed by others) in 1941, Hitchcock considered such work to be his patriotic duty, and he immediately accepted the offer. The plan called for Hitchcock to direct refugee French actors in two half-hour French lanquage mini-movies designed to be shown in secret locations in Nazi-held France. Hitchcock wanted to keep the films simple as possible, achieving a dark, black-and-white “film noir”look which he felt the people of Occupied France could relate to. Walking in the dark shadows, telling secrets in dark corners, a very effictive way to associate the film to its viewers. Hitchcock chose to highlight in the story irony, surprises, moral ambiquity, and

the uncertainties of life. The joint venture of the British and the French Nationalist to try to promote these two films fell short by the simple fact that the German Occupied france was isolated by the Germans. Reaching out to the masses of the population of France was all but impossible with the Germans controlling the theaters and projectors. Conducting secret screenings of only a select few really dont have the same christening effect as would showing the films to thousands. Gather support in a occupied country was a lost cause when the people are being fed German propaganda every day and seeing the apperance of their unsurpassable strength would be hard to over come. Besides the fact that the films never reached the masses they were intended for, Hitchcocks inability to