Film Documents and Contemporary History:

Images of the Great War

[Isonzói-csata]  (1917)

November 23, 2008

The First World War, which came to an end 90 years ago, was the first war accompanied by mass media. The Austrian documents which have survived make it possible to follow the genesis of cinematic war propaganda. These films are both document and staged "drama", challenging the "claim to truth" of documentary films: their locations are often arbitrary, the action recreated after the fact, the visual spectacle obscuring any loyalty to facts. For us as 21st century spectators, it is often unclear which public the films of this era were addressing. In this evening's programme, the film documents which were made by the state between 1912 and 1918 can be examined against the background of military doctrine as well as the popular imagination of the Austrian Imperial Army.