The problem is whether or not cinema and television modify our vision of history, given that history concerns not only knowledge of past phenomena, but also the analysis of links between past and present, the search for continuities and ruptures.
There is no doubt that in the last decade this problem has assumed a new importance: the time spent watching television keeps growing in Western societies, where television has become a kind of "parallel school". Moreover, for people who were colonized-especially those who lack a written historical tradition-historical knowledge depends to an even greater extent on the media, even if they have a strong oral tradition. It is clear that the stakes are very high.
In the Soviet Union, this problem is not exactly the same, because written texts-especially political ones-enjoy a privileged status in the social conscience. There was never a conflict between the cultures of cinema and of literature, for instance, as was the case in the United States. As for television, its cultural status has been lower in the Soviet Union than anywhere else at least until the 1980s. Nevertheless, this problem is a general one, and in this paper the Soviet Union is not the center of our considerations and analyses, but rather serves as a specific "case" in a global model.
This is not an entirely new problem. In the sense that it is information and knowledge, historical science has already been confronted with problems of the same type: novels and plays have triumphed over historical knowledge-at least, in our diffuse