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The Pax Cinemana: Film and the Pursuit of Peace, 1914-1939.

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Title:The Pax Cinemana: Film and the Pursuit of Peace, 1914-1939.
Authors:Holowicki, Alex C.
Contributors:History (department)
Date Issued:Dec 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Between 1914 and 1939, the role of film in fostering international peace and understanding was a
mainstream discussion within all facets of film production and exhibition. Of course, utopian
ideals have always surrounded film and new technologies. As a result of the unprecedented
violence that characterized World War I, however, the enthusiasm for cinema’s ability to prevent
another global catastrophe proved exceptional. Idealist filmmakers in the United States and
Europe not only reflected on their liberal ideology, but also developed a loose infrastructure to
support their lofty ambitions. Though many historians have long dismissed the peace efforts of
the interwar period as little more than naïve activism, this study argues that cinema made
tangible contributions to international business, law, education, and organization. These
ambitions have received little scholarly attention to date. Though there is a large body of work
that examines film’s critical role in war efforts, few scholars have tackled its significance to
peace movements. Consequently, this dissertation traces the development of “peacekeeping
cinema,” an international initiative that encouraged the making of motion pictures as a means to
generate empathy between divergent societies. The ability to see the lived experiences of “other”
peoples, supporters insisted, would help remediate the effects of World War I and prevent global
conflict. By surveying the peacekeeping activities of diverse filmmakers and organizations, this
dissertation articulates how communities in the United States and Europe interpreted peace and it
attempts to shed new light on the relationship between film and diplomacy.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - History

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