Animated Soviet Propaganda: From the October Revolution to Perestroika (1997)

13/08/2012
Animated Soviet Propaganda: From the October Revolution to Perestroika

Animated Soviet Propaganda: From the October Revolution to Perestroika

From the 1920s to the 1930s the Soviet regime ordered the production of dozens of animated propaganda films. Their target audience was the Soviet Union itself and their goal was to win over the hearts and minds of the Soviet people. While many of these films are sharply anti-American anti-Capitalist and anti-Fascist they combine with their harsh political themes a striking originality and beauty in graphic design that is reminiscent of famous Russian poster art from the 1920s. The ambitious collection is divided into four parts, curated not simply by chronology but by recurring themes.

1. American Imperialists features 7 films from the Cold War era, depicting Westerners as money-hungry industrialists who inevitably collapse under the weight of their own greed.

2. Fascist Barbarians is a 17-film reaction to the Nazi invasion in the beginning of WWII. Here, the Nazis are dehumanized and frequently portrayed as undesirable animals — pigs, vultures, warthogs.

3. Capitalist Sharks is a 6-film assault on the bourgeoisie, weaving sci-fi narratives to envision dystopian scenarios for capitalists’ world domination.

4. Onward to the Shining Future: Communism features 11 films that romanticize the state and promise a utopian future of universal well-being.

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