Propaganda Documentaries in France

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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.

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16 cm X 23 cm

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