By Heide Fehrenbach
Heide Fehrenbach analyzes the $64000 position cinema performed within the reconstruction of German cultural and political id among 1945 and 1962. targeting the previous West Germany, she explores the complicated political makes use of of film—and the meanings attributed to movie illustration and spectatorship—during a interval of abrupt transition to democracy.According to Fehrenbach, the method of nationwide redefinition made cinema and cinematic keep watch over a spotlight of heated ideological debate. relocating past a slender political exam of Allied-German negotiations, she investigates the wider social nexus of renowned moviegoing, public demonstrations, movie golf equipment, and municipal gala's. She additionally attracts on paintings in gender and movie experiences to probe the methods filmmakers, scholars, church leaders, neighborhood politicians, and most of the people articulated nationwide identification on the subject of the demanding situations posed via army profession, American advertisement tradition, and redefined gender roles. therefore highlighting the hyperlinks among nationwide id and cultural perform, this publication offers a richer photo of what German reconstruction entailed for either men and women.
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Extra resources for Cinema in Democratizing Germany: Reconstructing National Identity After Hitler
In return, the industry "coordinated" its products to reflect (or at least not transgress) Christian Democratic values. The moviegoing public, however, was not as easily intimidated by the authoritarian posturing of state and church leaders. Attempts by these groups to regulate film production and exhibition provoked substantial local resistance. Angry citizens, who had not forgotten the lessons of the recent German past, compared the actions of these new elites to those of their Nazi precursors and demanded the full range of rights accorded them in the new democracy.
Despite its merits for fostering citizen loyalty and national identity, cinema never became a mere political pawn of the state. Throughout the twentieth century, cinema has also remained a commercial enterprise, run by profit-oriented businesspeople interested in enhancing and expanding the audience appeal of their products. To do so, they have played to the public's erotic and consumer fantasies and through camera, editing, and narrational strategies, have encouraged viewer identification with leading performers.
While demanding consumer freedoms, the German filmgoing public nonetheless avidly consumed the domestic fare provided them by native filmmakers. In what appears to be an ironic twist, the most successful film genre of the early postwar period became the critically disdained West German Heimatfilm, which seemed to relegate the viewer to the cultural provinces. But while Heimatfilme drew upon popular interwar genressuch as the musical revue, the operetta, and the comedyit reassured postwar viewers by releasing them from a problematic past and orienting them to an optimistic future.
Cinema in Democratizing Germany: Reconstructing National Identity After Hitler by Heide Fehrenbach