The Soviet Film Industry

The Soviet Film Industry

The Soviet Film Industry

The Soviet Film Industry

Excerpt

Political exploitation of motion pictures requires control over the decisions of administrative officials within the film industry. Shortly after the Bolshevik coup d'état of 1917 the Communist Party initiated indirect regulation, aiming ultimately at complete domination of the administrative apparatus. Through continual reorganization, enlargement and centralization of the administrative structure of the motion-picture industry, complete operational responsibility was finally vested in the government of the U.S.S.R. to ensure political control by the Party.

The measures leading to the establishment of the U.S.S.R. Ministry of the Cinema in 1946 reflected the Communist premise that successful regulation of film content depends upon command of the industry's economic base. During the 1920s administrative reforms generally introduced economic rather than ideological regulation. Relatively mild censorship made possible the exhibition of profitable films and thus spurred production. Politico-ideological demands during the period of the First Five-Year Plan were expressed largely through nonParty and nongovernmental channels. Changes in the governmental administrative structure aimed primarily at further centralization of economic planning and authority. Once a largescale administrative apparatus for planning and operation had been developed, subsequent reorganizations stressed highly- centralized ideological regulation.

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After 1917 many years were required before control by the Communist Party matched and finally surpassed the control once exercised over the motion-picture industry by the govern-

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