The Soviet Film Industry

By Paul Babitsky; John Rimberg | Go to book overview

AUTHORS' NOTE

Communist leaders have employed many methods to secure domination over the film industry in the Soviet Union. The first step was the setting up of a central administration of the motion-picture industry. Through this government apparatus the Party assumed control of every film studio. Scenario writers and film directors were subjected to pressures. Motionpicture theaters and factories producing raw film, cameras and projectors were taken over. Party-manipulated agencies dictated and censored the content of films and regulated their import and export. Gradually the state extended its rule into every phase of the film industry, achieving at last full control over this medium for "propaganda," that is, propagation of a faith. This book depicts the principal steps by which the Communist Party consolidated its power over the Soviet motionpicture industry. Chapters II and III, dealing with film studios and scenario writing, were written by Mr. Babitsky, largely on the basis of his own experience in Soviet film studios until World War II. The remaining chapters, on central administration, film content, the economic base, and export and import, as well as Appendix III, were written by Mr. Rimberg.

The authors wish to thank Dr. Alexander Dallin, the first Associate Director of the Research Program on the U.S.S.R., and Mr. Robert Slusser, his successor, for making this book possible. We are also very grateful to Dr. Alex Inkeles of Harvard University for his support and encouragement and to Miss Louise Luke, Assistant Director of the Research Program on the U.S.S.R., for her invaluable editorial assistance in the preparation of the manuscript. In large part whatever merits of style and accuracy the book can claim are due to her work. The authors alone, however, are responsible for any errors which remain. We are indebted to Mr. Maurice Friedberg for most of the translation of Mr. Babitsky's chapters and for his generous aid in our collaboration. Mr. Nathan Rosen translated

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