Propaganda in Film

March 29 - April 19, 2017

Propaganda in Film explores the contemporary relevance of four films which were designed or had the effect of influencing public opinion for a specific purpose. For over a century, film, as one of the most important forms of mass communication, expresses and reflects a society's way of seeing itself. Using films from Germany, Japan, Russia, and the USA, this course, taught by Dr. Richard J. Meyer, will seek to understand the intentions behind the use of the film medium to influence the beliefs of the populus.

Class Specifics
4 Wednesdays: March 29 - April 19, 2017
7:00pm - 10:00pm
SIFF Film Center Classroom
Cost: $79. Sold through Seattle Central College Continuing Education at this link.

March 29 - Triumph of the Will.  Director Leni Riefenstahl sold Hitler to the German people in this classic documentary which is considered one of the greatest propaganda films ever made.

April 5 - Alexander Nevsky. Directed by the famous Soviet film maker Sergei Eisenstein, this anti-German film warned the Russian people that they were threatened once again by their Teutonic neighbor.  

April 12 - Why We Fight. Hollywood director Frank Capra volunteered to help the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The US in WWII portrayed its enemies in a negative way to warn its citizens of the dangers inherent for its survival.

 April 19 - Prisoners of Propaganda. The Japanese made this film in advance of their planned invasion of Australia using "cooperating" Australian POWs as themselves.

Class Workload:
There is no homework or required text.  A list of recommended voluntary films will be distributed to students. All are widely available from Scarecrow Video.

About the Instructor:
Richard J. Meyer teaches film at several Universities and produces motion pictures. He co-produced Amore Tra Le Rovine (Love Among The Ruins) shot on location in Ferrara, Italy, which was released in the Unites States in 2015.  In 2012 and 2013, he was Visiting Scholar at the New Zealand Film Archive.  He became the Distinguished Fellow of Film and Media Studies at Arizona State University in 2007 and the Distinguished Fulbright Professor at I'Universita' del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro in Italy for the spring 2005 trimester.  Dr Meyer is Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Professor of Telecommunications Emeritus at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and Visiting Professor at the Center for Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Hong Kong. 

In 2001, he was a Fellow of the Asian Cultural Council in Hong Kong and a Fulbright Scholar at National Chengchi University in Taiwan.  Dr. Meyer received his BA and MA Degrees from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from New YorkUniversity.  His post-doctoral fellowships were at Columbia University and the East-West Center in Honolulu.  He has taught a variety of subjects dealing with all aspects of film and media.  In addition to his cinema work, Dr. Meyer was CEO of several public broadcasting organizations including KCTS/9 in Seattle.