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Cinema and Censorship in Post-war Poland

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Hilary Powell.

What function did Polish films fulfill in post-war society, when much of the country lay in ruins? What kind of function could they fulfill under the system of censorship imposed by the Soviet government? This talk provides an overview of the convoluted and unpredictable system of censorship, which banned some films immediately, and allowed other provocative works to slip through the net. Censorship necessitated the development of new ways of communicating with audiences, relying, for example, on implied metaphors concealed beneath a veneer of realism. I examine particularly the way in which war films of the 1950s became memorial practices, commemorating those Polish military groups that, due to their anti-Soviet stance, were denied commemoration in the usual forms of statues and monuments.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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