Filming Politics: Communism and the Portrayal of the Working Class at the National Film Board of Canada, 1939-1946

By Manley, John | British Journal of Canadian Studies, May 2009 | Go to article overview

Filming Politics: Communism and the Portrayal of the Working Class at the National Film Board of Canada, 1939-1946


Manley, John, British Journal of Canadian Studies


Malek Khouri, Filming Politics: Communism and the Portrayal of the Working Class at the National Film Board of Canada, 1939-1946 (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2007), ix + 278 pp. Paper. £20.99. ISBN 9-781552-381991.

Malek Khouri, a professor of film at the University of Calgary, states that his 'new reading' (p. 1) of the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada films about workers and the Second World War is 'driven by' (p. viii) a commitment to the honest depiction of the working class in Canadian cinema. Rejecting the argument that the NFB's wartime output amounted to authoritarian pro-government propaganda of little historical significance, he claims that the NFB was engaged in the construction of a pro-working class 'counter-hegemonic discourse', which, though it was contained by the Cold War and consumerist individualism, played a seminal but almost entirely forgotten role in making a 'sense of collective social responsibility' a taken-for-granted aspect of Canadian national identity (p. 223). Khouri further challenges tradition by according an honoured role to the Communist Party of Canada (CPC). Its Popular Front values, he argues, 'virtually patterned the counter-hegemonic thrust of [NFB] films'.

Filming Politics is an interesting and useful work, but it fails as historical scholarship. The author, claiming that the 'role and weight of individuals in shaping history' has been exaggerated and that biography 'does not serve the goal of understanding the complexity of any discourse' (pp. 4-5), consciously decided to leave biographical examination of the NFB's fascinating dramatis personae (John Grierson, Stuart Legg and Jane March, to name but three) to future researchers and to devote only brief attention to the actual organisational connections between the NFB and CPC. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Filming Politics: Communism and the Portrayal of the Working Class at the National Film Board of Canada, 1939-1946
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.