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Politics and Persuasion Under Stalin. KINO: The Russian Cinema Series
When the Bolsheviks seized power in the Soviet Union during 1917, they were suffering from a substantial political legitimacy deficit. Uneasy political foundations meant that cinema became a key part of the strategy to protect the existence of the USSR. Based on extensive archival research, this welcome book examines the interaction between politics and the Soviet cinema industry during the period between Stalin's rise to power and the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. It reveals that film had a central function during those years as an important means of convincing the masses that the regime was legitimate and a bearer of historical truth. Miller analyses key films, from the classic musical "Circus" to the political epic "The Great Citizen", and examines the Bolsheviks', ultimately failed, attempts to develop a 'cinema for the millions'. As Denise Youngblood writes, 'this work is indispensable reading not only for specialists in Soviet film and culture, but also for anyone interested in the dynamics of cultural production in an authoritarian society'.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Superbly researched and well-written, this fascinating book is the first full-length political history of Soviet cinema during a tumultuous period, the 'long thirties,' 1929-1941.' - Denise Youngblood; 'Invaluable for the quality of the information that Miller has gleaned from the film archives in Russia' - Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television; 'Soviet Cinema fills in many of the gaps left in many of the more general accounts of Soviet cinema in the 1930s, constructing a detailed picture of the chaos and mismanagement that plagued the Stalinist film industry. This study is a necessary resource for anyone working on the 1930s, and I highly recommend it for its profound engagement with Soviet history.' - Lilya Kaganovsky, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign