Jeff Smith’s column for the February issue of Recoil, “Popcorn and Propaganda: Movies, Militarism and Mad Mel” has been posted in the commentary section of the site. In it, Smith explores how the movie industry promotes militarism:
In the past month like many good Americans I went to the movie theater. I love film…the power it can have in telling stories. Movies also have a tremendous capacity to influence the public and shape our individuals perceive themselves and the world around them. Global empires certainly understand this, which is why the Nazi’s used film as a major propaganda tool.
The US has also produced it’s own films, especially during wartime, with the intent of shaping public opinion. The “Why We Fight” series was a very successful campaign by the Department of War, which is now called the Department of Defense. Hollywood has also played a significant role in promoting the “righteousness of America.” While Hollywood is independent of the US government it has had a special relationship with the US military and State Department, both to have access to the military hardware in film production and to support the US global image by allowing the Pentagon to approve scripts with military themes. This symbiotic relationship is well documented in Carl Boggs’ new book The Hollywood War Machine: US Militarism and Popular Culture.
Read “Popcorn and Propaganda: Movies, Militarism and Mad Mel”