Soviet Cinema: Politics and Persuasion under Stalin

Soviet Cinema: Politics and Persuasion under Stalin

by Miller Jamie
     
 

When the Bolsheviks seized power in the Soviet Union during 1917, they were suffering from a substantial political legitimacy deficit. Uneasy political foundations meant that they were always on the defensive and cinema became the key part of the strategy to protect the existence of the USSR. This welcome book shows how one of film's central functions was an

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Overview

When the Bolsheviks seized power in the Soviet Union during 1917, they were suffering from a substantial political legitimacy deficit. Uneasy political foundations meant that they were always on the defensive and cinema became the key part of the strategy to protect the existence of the USSR. This welcome book shows how one of film's central functions was an important means of convincing the masses that the regime was legitimate and a bearer of historical truth.

Based on extensive research in archives and primary sources, the book examines the interaction between politics and the Soviet cinema industry during the period between Stalin's rise to power and the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. This was the era when the Bolsheviks were trying to develop a 'cinema for the million', which sought to engage Soviet citizens politically by carefully blending entertainment with the communist message.

Jamie Miller investigates how political and administrative decision-making, censorship, thematic planning and purges were shaped by the Bolsheviks' defensive outlook which in turn had a largely negative impact on the production process. He examines the role of film unions and societies, compares the development of two different studios and looks at the education system for cinema personnel. He also analyses key films of the period, including the classic musical Circus, the class enemy drama The Party Card and political epic The Great Citizen.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Superbly researched and well-written, this fascinating book is the first full-length political history of Soviet cinema during a tumultuous period, the 'long thirties,' 1929-1941." -- Denise Youngblood

"Invaluable, for the quality of the information that Miller has gleaned from the film archives in Russia" -- Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
 

"Soviet Cinema fills in many of the gaps left in many of the more general accounts of Soviet cinema in the 1930s, constructing a detailed picture of the chaos and mismanagement that plagued the Stalinist film industry. This study is a necessary resource for anyone working on the 1930s, and I highly recommend it for its profound engagement with Soviet history." -- Lilya Kaganovsky, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

 

"As the latest addition to the I.B.Tauris KINO: The Russian Cinema Series, Jamie Miller’s publication serves as an excellent complement to previous volumes on the 1930s, which tend to focus more on the films themselves…[the book] does an excellent job of filling a great gap in the history of the 1930s Soviet cinema history."--Claire Knight, European History Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781848850095
Publisher:
I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date:
01/15/2010
Series:
KINO - The Russian Cinema Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Jamie Miller is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in History at the University of Toronto, Canada.

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