SOLUTION: A1BTC Manipulate the Beliefs & Attitudes of People Within a Society Discussion

SOLUTION: A1BTC Manipulate the Beliefs & Attitudes of People Within a Society Discussion.


Diana Sofia Alberto

YesterdayApr 14 at 10:45pm

Key Term: This week’s term that most drew my attention was “ideology” most commonly defined as a set of widespread beliefs that happen to be set as the standard accepted by a majority. In Hollywood films, for example, there is this standard that in order to have a successful film you must have a clear narrative, relatable characters, and a renowned director. Of course, this might not be the only way to make a successful film, but it is an ideal that is recognized in Hollywood. An even better representation of an ideological standard might be best seen in Olympia (1938) by Leni Riefenstahl in which she has these perfectly carved divers jumping from magnificent heights into pools of water. This is clearly her version of an ideal human body. There is an emphasis on their prominent muscular symmetry, their toned and long limbs, and their detailed abdominals. Riefenstahl, without verbally putting it into the film, is telling the audience that, that in fact is what a healthy, strong, and beautiful human body looks like.

Screening: Triumph of the Will (1935) by Leni Riefenstahl was one of the screenings that most stood out to me as a film portraying not only nationalistic cinema, propaganda, idealism in Germany, and fascist aesthetic but allowed me to sit in the position of millions of Germans at that time. This film touches on most of the key terms this week for it is a largely impactful mixture of a love displayed to a singular man appearing god-like and all-powerful, it is an unofficial indoctrination of German idealism, and it is alluding to the display of unification among all people through the welcoming of Hitler. I found it incredibly fascinating the amount of detail, vastness, and overall effort that was set in this propaganda film. It made me think, “well of course this man got so many people to believe in him!” he had such powerful and influential people on his side. Riefenstahl although like the professor mentioned does not take any accountability for the anti-semitic ideals portrayed in the film, she had to have at one point felt that this couldn’t have possibly been normal. The amount of love and just pure bliss with which this man is welcomed by ascending from the heavens is harmful. There is a display of camaraderie and excess, excess of happiness, food, and shelter.

Link: Another screening that can be representative of “national cinema” can be The River (1938) which is a short documentary on the importance of the Mississippi river to the US. This film is not only representative of the areas surrounding the Mississippi but gives a general idea of what it means to be an American; such as changing everything that is natural such as deforestation only to have it backfire and lead to faster and deeper loss. Whether this is a representation of the American way, or simply the human condition, there is a clear display of selfishness that centers humanity, all without ever stating it directly. In fact, the film zooms in on the beauty the Mississippi river brings to us, but take a moment to simply imagine the wildlife that had to migrate or even died; was not discussed for one second in the film. There was huge damage done to the environment, which mostly goes once again, without accountability but a solution of planting new trees. I like to think we have improved since this documentary, but it still stands as a foundation of what our country has done, been through, and managed to pull back together.

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Collapse SubdiscussionAngel J. Chuang

Angel J. Chuang

YesterdayApr 14 at 11:57pm

Hi Diana, I really liked your interpretation of The River, and I agree with you in that the film is a piece of national cinema that reflects the ways our nation values the environment. From watching the film, we see more footage taken of the land rather than the people. This places a reinforced emphasis on the environment, and how it is often taken advantage of by Americans, and by humans in general. In addition, I think it’s very relevant to today’s society with climate change, specifically how people’s solutions to these catastrophic consequences often lead them to more forms of adaptation that may possibly lead to further damage. Rather than trying to mitigate the problem from the get go, we seem to always try to find new technological ways of adapting to the issue when the problems starts to get increasingly worse. In the film, I remember them building a dam in order to reverse the damages of cutting down the forest; however, they didn’t show the consequences that came from building the dams which include damaging aquatic ecosystems, etc.

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Collapse SubdiscussionSavanna Kathleen Rae Corro

Savanna Kathleen Rae Corro

YesterdayApr 14 at 11:34pm

Propaganda is a term I feel like most people have a general understanding of, but who fail to recognize the absolute scope it has in regards to our everyday media. Propaganda is defined as information meant to promote a point of view or influence one’s thinking. With this definition, it’s easy to identify many productions during the time of WWII as being propaganda, whether it’s meant to be or not. Films made during WWII that weren’t specifically made to encourage the war or discourage their enemies still had elements to them that made them influential to the general public regarding the fight. This can be seen in the plethora of films during this period that featured soldiers and focused on their individual stories (like Bogart in Sahara, which took place during 1942 and focused on an American troop), painting these characters as heroes and their struggles, something you want them to overcome. While not considered classical propaganda, they were still films that encouraged a certain emotional state which, in turn, influenced how people saw soldiers and the war.

Triumph of the Will is a difficult film to watch because, while the cinematography and film itself is well made, the context of the film and its creation is horrifying. Once we apply the ideological beliefs that the film stemmed from, then, we can see how the cinematography was also influenced, how the goals of the film by its creators affected how the product turned out. Many shots feature Hitler as a prominent and important figure, almost painting him in an ethereal, unreal way through different angles and the selected shots. When this film was first released, Hitler had certainly risen to a powerful position, but had yet to achieve his most influential stage in his political career. This film and how it portrayed him as nothing short of incredibly influential and strong only helped propel him into more power over the people. However horrible he was, the film undeniably paints him in a positive light, which was the main point of the production.

While Leni Riefenstahl discussed Triumph of the Will, she was adamant she did not partake in making Nazi propaganda. However, critical analysis of how the film was edited together and what the film elicits from its audience implies that the film does constitute as propaganda. Propaganda is meant to influence how people feel/think about something, and watching Triumph of the Will attempts to make the audience feel as positive and hopeful as the crowds we see within it. Through showcasing the sheer delight of the German people when Hitler arrives, the absolute devotion they have to the cause of their country, and through the staging of Hitler as a powerful, but positive figurehead in all this, the film subtlety makes us want to connect Hitler to a hopeful, joyful feeling. No narration telling us what to feel about Hitler was necessary. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and the staging, camera angles, and musical accompaniment only furthers the emotions the audience is meant to feel while watching this piece.

SOLUTION: A1BTC Manipulate the Beliefs & Attitudes of People Within a Society Discussion

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