Casablanca is an exploration of the universal themes of love and sacrifice, but
when the film was released in 1942, audiences viewed it as a political allegory about
World War II. The film is set in December 1941, the month in which the Japanese
attacked Pearl Harbor. That attack changed the course of American history, awakening
the nation from political neutrality and thrusting it into the midst of World War II.
Casablanca tells the story of a similar, though much smaller, awakening. At the
beginning of the film, Rick is a cynical bar owner in the Moroccan city of Casablanca
who drinks only by himself and doesn't care about politics. By the end of the film, he has
become a self-sacrificing idealist, committed to the anti-Nazi war effort. The event that
prompts this change in Rick is the appearance of Ilsa, his old flame, in Casablanca.
Ilsa's arrival is unexpected and devastating, and it hits Rick just as hard as the
Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor hit America. Once Rick overcomes the initial
pain, his moral sense is reignited. He doesn't get to live happily ever after with Ilsa, but
he accepts the necessity of his sacrifice and the heartbreak that accompanies it. If Ilsa
hadn't reappeared in his life, Rick would still be stuck in a life of bitterness in
Casablanca. Instead, he is reawakened to the world and to himself.
The film’s impact is said to derive from Riefenstahl’s choreography of images and
sounds…the marching of men,the waving of banners,the uniforms,the swastikas,the
overwhelming cheers, and smiling children at the front of the crowds, sparkles in their
eyes as if it was Santa they were seeing. Throughout the film, Riefenstahl constantly
draws attention to the Fürhrer as the saviour of the Germanic people. For many of the
years before Hitler’s election Germany had been in a state of national depression, due
to the loss of World War One and the institutionalisation of the Treaty of Versailles.
Hitler had promised a greater Germany and a more prosperous Germany. Near the start
of the film (45:45-46:24) Riefenstahl captures the clouds with such grace and beauty.
This could be interpreted as Riefenstahl drawing a link between Hitler and God; Hitler
descending from heaven for the saviour of the Germans. Further examples of this are at
(49:25) where Riefenstahl has shots of the statues, the angles of the scene again
convey Hitler as a saviour, a God, a great figure in the German Empire. In the film
Riefenstahl always had the camera aimed up at Adolf Hitler. She rarely filmed Hitler at
head height or from an aerial view. She applied the same concept of “aiming upwards”
to many of the Nazi symbols such as flags, swastikas or eagles. “Triumph of the
Will”was manufactured to give hope to the German people and put faith into the Nazi
rule. The film captured the Nuremberg rally in a light that clouded many peoples proper
opinions. It was a magnificent film, but at the same time an exceptional acquisition for
Nazi propaganda. In the film Riefenstahl used many film techniques that were “unheard”
of at the time and she revolutionised the film industry in this way. She composed an
exemplarily film, on behalf of the Nazi’s, that brought hope to many Germans who had
been disheartened and lost their sense of nationalistic pride, however it also blinded
many to what the Nazi’s were truly capable of. The Nazi party utilised the increasing
numbers, who were going too see films, to escape the melancholia that had surrounded
the German people for the past 15 years to push the Nazi propaganda to more people
than ever before.
In the late 1930s, Spain was undergoing the turmoil of civil war. On April 26,
1937, the Condor Legion, German Luftwaffe pilots who had volunteered on the side of
the Nationalist forces, launched a raid on the defenseless Basque city of Guernica.
Multiple waves of airplanes bombed and strafed the civilization population of the town.
The total figures are disputed, but hundreds were killed. An early experiment in the
terrorizing carpet bombing later refined by the Nazis, the Guernica attack demonstrated
the callous brutality and efficiency of twentieth century warfare. The world recoiled in
horror, not knowing even worse events were yet to come. Guernica is work of
propaganda. Even Picasso himself said the painting is propaganda. The painting is in
direct response to the atrocious bombing of the Basque town that bears the same name
during the civil war. Picasso further politicized the piece by withholding it from Spain
until Franco’s regime had fallen. Juan Larrea, a poet and friend of Picasso, argued
(wrongly, I think) that Guernica envisages the death of Franco and the fall of his
government. When the painting did eventually end up in the Prado in 1981 it was used
by the then Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez as a political statement.
A form of modern realism imposed in Russia by Stalin following his rise to power
after the death of Lenin in 1924, characterised in painting by rigorously optimistic
pictures of Soviet life painted in a realist style. The doctrine was formally proclaimed by
Maxim Gorky at the Soviet Writers Congress of 1934, although not precisely defined. In
practice, in painting it meant using realist styles to create highly optimistic depictions of
Soviet life. Any pessimistic or critical element was banned, and this is the crucial
difference from social realism. It was quite simply propaganda art, and has an ironic
resemblance to the Fascist realism imposed by Hitler in Germany (see Entartete Kunst
– degenerate art).
The book Anthem, written by Ayn Rand, is a book somewhat a man who stands
against a corrupt brass in the dark future. In this story, there be many types of
propaganda that the political sympathies accustoms in pronounce to control the people
in the dark club to perform the way they desire, and to hide the flaw that their vivify
mankind holds The establishment in the book Anthem abides by the belief of
collectivism, which places emphasis on the group, rather than the individual, and bears
a quick coincidence to communism. The political science uses a lot of propaganda in
order to get ahead the citizens believe that they atomic number 18 equal. They use
glittering generalities by job the people by names that resurrect togetherness such as
Equality, Liberty, Fraternity, Solidarity, and many others. They also make the citizens
use glittering generalities only(prenominal) night. They atomic number 18 forced to sing
a hymn and pull in a play on how running(a) is good all(prenominal) day. Every night,
they must repeat the slogan We are unrivaled in all and all in one. on that point are no
men but only the expectant WE, one, indiscrete and forever.(Rand 19)Every night they
also repeat the mantra We are nothing. cosmos is all. By the grace of our brothers are
we allowed our lives. We exist though, by and for our brothers who are the State. Amen.
Authors, filmmakers, and artists have their own way of communicating what they
feel. We have seen these in movies like Casablanca, documentaries such as Triumph
of the Will, and of course, a moving painting called the Guernica.