Alexandria Digital Research Library

Marshall Plan Films In Italy, 1948-1955: Cinema as Soft Power

Author:
Longo, Regina Margaret
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara.Film and Media Studies
Degree Supervisor:
Wolfe Charles
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2012
Issued Date:
2012
Topics:
History, Film studies, and European studies
Keywords:
US government information programs
UNESCO
development
Marshall Plan films
Neorealism
Italy
Description:

ABSTRACT

Marshall Plan Films in Italy, 1948-1955: Cinema as Soft Power

by

Regina Margaret Longo

My dissertation examines US government sponsored information films produced in and for Italy, by Italians, from 1948 to 1955, under the auspices of the European Recovery Program (ERP), commonly known as the Marshall Plan (MP). This corpus of 200+ films, created at a critical moment in the development of mass media propaganda, has received little more than a footnote in standard historical accounts of international documentary cinema and post World War II US and Italian foreign policy. This understudied body of films negotiated complex political and ideological terrain in both Italy and the US, producing multiple narratives of history, civic discourse and cultural identity that challenge the meta-narrative of economic productivity and progress the US government intended these films to promote. Examining the MP films' integration into the larger social fabric of postwar Italy, at the moment of their initial production, reveals that these films were indeed constitutive of diplomatic practices, having the power to not simply represent diplomatic settlements, but to shape diplomatic institutions and practices as they were occurring. Examining the archive of MP films that remains today also reveals their functions as sources of knowledge and commodities that persist in both imagining and making tangible specific modes of cinematic assemblage, consumption and reception. This study charts the course of a transnational visual information campaign that could not have functioned so successfully had the US or Italy attempted to launch the campaign independently.

Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/13030/m59z95kx
Merritt ARK:
ark:/13030/m59z95kx
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
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