Cinema and human rights from a historical perspective: the use of propaganda in manipulating the public opinion and in creating consent (Germany and Italy, 1930-1950)

Thumbnail Image
Giantin, Stefano
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This historical research represents an attempt to analyse the use of cinema propaganda (feature movies, newsreels and documentaries) for creating consent, manipulating the public opinion and shaping values and ideals in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. In addition, a part of the study will be dedicated to the comparison between propaganda in totalitarian regimes and in post-war transitional societies, as Germany and Italy were after 1945. At the end, using the Italian Neorealismo as a model, I have tried to sketch the possible use of cinema as tool for coping with the past and reinforcing the collective memory of a country. The tread that connects the various section of this research is the strong personal conviction that art, culture and visual arts in particular have a stronger impact on people and thus should have the primacy over the than other forms of “awareness raising”. Well-done human rights related movie or documentary could have an immense impact on the human rights promotion and protection. Hence, the use of cinema in enhancing human rights discourse should be more emphasized in the future.
Second semester University: University of Copenhagen.
fascism, film, Germany, Italy, national socialism, propaganda, public opinion