Wednesday, November 17, 2004

How does war propaganda relate to Hollywood feature films?  

There is a tendency within mainstream Hollywood film production to glorify war and military service. While this act of glorification itself is not necessarily propaganda, many films employ propagandistic techniques in order to achieve a certain end, whether to encourage military enlistment or to simply gain support for military endeavours.

These techniques include oversimplifying socio-political issues, de-humanizing the enemy, appealing to emotional rather than intellectual faculties and using specific language with particular connotations, either positive or negative. The intended result is for the audience to halt reflection and thought and accept the ideas put forth by the film.

Matters become more complicated, however, when the Department of Defence has direct involvement with the production and content of the film. Filmmakers looking for financial support will often agree to co-operation with the Pentagon which will provide military equipment, artillery and expertise in exchange for a prominent role in revising the shooting script to ensure that military interests are positively represented.

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