Propaganda Documentaries in France: 1940-1944

Propaganda Documentaries in France: 1940-1944


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In occupied France, the Nazis pursued aggressive, tightly orchestrated measures designed to monopolize the French market and foster agitation against Americans, Jews, Communists, and others. The documentary film was one instrument of propaganda employed by the Nazi occupiers, as well as the Vichy government and collaborationists. Nearly two hundred of those documentaries have been restored by the French Film Archives.

Jean-Pierre Bertin-Maghit’s Propaganda Documentaries in France: 1940–1944 is the first volume specifically devoted to nonfiction propaganda films distributed in France during the “dark years” of the German Occupation. This book provides a concise overview of Vichy and German film policies, including the purchase of an extensive network of movie houses, many of which were expropriated from Jewish owners. In addition, popular prewar American and French feature films were banned, while theaters were flooded with propagandist titles. Bertin-Maghit also illustrates how ideological priorities and political negotiations played out in both topical documentaries and weekly newsreels, juxtaposing Vichy’s integrationist propaganda with German-sponsored documentaries of agitation and exclusion.

While documentaries are the primary focus of this work, the author also addresses other forms of propaganda, such as newsreels and posters. Appearing in English for the first time—and featuring a filmography of 178 restored works—Propaganda Documentaries in France: 1940–1944 is a provocative and wide-ranging work of history and cinema that will be of interest to film scholars and historians as well as sociologists and political scientists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442261013
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/11/2016
Series: Film and History Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jean-Pierre Bertin-Maghit is professor of cinema studies at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle–Paris 3, where he is director of the Institut de recherche sur le cinéma et l’audiovisuel (IRCAV).

Marcelline Block is a lecturer in history at Princeton University. She is the author of World Film Locations: Paris (2011), editor of Situating the Feminist Gaze and Spectatorship in Postwar Cinema (2010), and co-editor of French Cinema and the Great War: Remembrance and Representation (2016).

Table of Contents

Foreword Marc Ferro vii

Acknowledgment xi

Introduction xiii

Part 1 Propaganda and Institutions 1

1 The Government of the French State: A Proactive Policy 3

2 The Occupation Authorities: The Establishment of a German Film Market 21

3 Chronicle of Newsreels, the First Propaganda Media 29

4 Reception, or the Outlines of an Unusual Social Framework 37

Part 2 Propaganda and Utopias 51

5 Vichy's Way: A Propaganda of Integration 53

6 Paris's Way: Propaganda of Agitation and Exclusion 107

7 The Techniques of Propaganda 139

Epilogue 179

Filmography 183

Bibliography 249

Index 259

About the Author and Translator 267

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