A while back I made a post about all the things that I was planning on posting in the near future. I am pretty sure that the near future has outdone me and passed me by, so I apologise for the delay, but here is a post concerning item #1: My history project.
I based my history project on wartime propaganda in films during WWII. I started off with a small list of topics that I thought would be interesting to study. One of them was cinema. Then I tried to come up with an interesting question I could ask myself about cinema and came up with propaganda in movies and I moved my focus to WWII as we are now studying that in class.
So far I have done not enough research… 😀
I did a small presentation on Casablanca last week which was pretty interesting. I hadn’t watched Casablanca before despite that we own the DVD of it, and while I was doing my research I read that it was one of the best propaganda films in history! Surprised as I was, I popped the DVD into the DVD player and watched it from beginning to end. I was really expecting it to just be a love story but I kept an eye out for all the wartime messages being conveyed to the audience. Any of you Casablanca lovers out there might want to watch it once again but with a different eye.
I have so far discovered that the most successful wartime propaganda films are those which don’t actually show the war. Sure, watching a big old movie about WWII will have a lot of propaganda in it, but people will be able to relate to soldier life less than everyday life which is exactly why Casablanca is such a great hit. See it doesn’t show the lives of soldiers, it focuses on a woman and a man in a difficult situation. The key is that all the while, there are German and French soldiers, financial difficulties and many, many people trying to escape from Europe. The audience picks up on these people, and on the behaviour of the citizens as they can relate to it very easily.
There are some other bits and bobs that I have read about in relation to my project but I had best keep them to myself for a while as I haven’t yet concluded anything… I should really get some more work done! If you haven’t watched Casablanca, don’t forget to do so 🙂