Nazi Cinema as Enchantment
Title Details

304 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

18 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture

Imprint: Camden House

Nazi Cinema as Enchantment

The Politics of Entertainment in the Third Reich

by Mary-Elizabeth O'Brien

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Explores how entertainment cinema served everyday fascism in Nazi Germany.
Hitler's regime not only terrorized its citizens; it also seduced them, offering stability, a traditional value system, a sense of belonging, and hope of a better standard of living. Nazi cinema was part of this seduction, expressing positive social fantasies and promoting the enchantment of reality, so that one would want to share in the dream at any price. This interdisciplinary study, based on exhaustive research in German archives, examines how thirteen films from five genres - the historical musical, the foreign adventure film, the home-front film, the melodrama, and the problem film - enchanted audiences and enacted shared stories that can tell us much about how family, community, history, the nation, and the war were imagined in Nazi Germany.

Mary-Elizabeth O'Brien is Professor of German at Skidmore College.
Introduction
History, Utopia, and the Social Construction of Happiness: The Historical Musical
Mapping German Identity: The Foreign Adventure Film
The Celluloid War: The Home-Front Film
Discontented Domesticity: The Melodrama
The Forbidden Desires of Everyday Life: The Problem Film
Epilogue
Works Cited
Index
"O'Brien carries the reader into the world of Babelsberg, the German Hollywood, where the reader sees Nazi filmmaking as a form of amusement that carries the Nazi message." CHOICE
"The readings are integrated within a larger, compelling argument about the function of entertainment within the framework of Nazi culture so that the focus convincingly broadens the understanding of the complexities in this crucial period of German film history." MONATSHEFTE
"O'Brien's book is the product of extensive archival research and provides numerous services to the reader... [Her] readings convincingly show how films not generally viewed as propaganda films were produced with explicit ideological goals in mind." GERMAN QUARTERLY
"Clearly structured, ... the film interpretations are embedded in well-summarized historical contexts.... The book's eminent readability makes it enjoyable and accessible to the non-specialist." GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

Paperback

9781571133342

March 2006

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Ebook (EPDF)

9781571136336

December 2003

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Title Details

304 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

18 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture

Imprint: Camden House