Thursday, November 21, 2019

How does film relate to the concept of national identity Discuss in Essay

How does film relate to the concept of national identity Discuss in relation to British Realism - Essay Example This essay will try to illustrate how British cinema has played a dual role of depicting existing national identity and forging new national identity over the course of the last hundred years. The 1940s were an interesting period in the history of English cinema. It was an era when films were produced by dedicated studio houses like Pinewood, Ealing, Shepperton, Denham and Elstree (Lay, 2002). But with Britain’s involvement in the Second World War, the role of cinema were to undergo a transformation. From being a medium of mass entertainment, it would serve as a great political tool. Some of the films made during the early years of the war were not so much works of art as mediums of political propaganda. Given the inadequacy of the RAFs in resisting the Nazi war machinery, the British High Command motivated civilian men to join the army through films. In this case, the films elucidated what it means to be British and what responsibilities citizenship entails. The movies were a call for duty addressed to young men, to keep alive the long tradition of British pride. This genre is a classic example of the second category of social realism – one of forging natio nal identity. The involvement of government agencies in the making of these films is succinctly captured in the following lines: â€Å"The story of the British cinema in the Second World War is inextricably linked with that of the Ministry of Information. It was the Ministrys function, after all, to present the national case to the public at home and abroad, and to this end it was responsible for the preparation and issue of National Propaganda, as well as for the issue of ‘news’ and for such control of information issued to the public as may be demanded by the needs of security†¦its Planning Committee was designated to work out means for carrying out domestic policy and to recommend courses of action to sustain civilian morale, and, inevitably, its Films† (Aldgate, 1994) The reality

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