How War Propaganda in the Film Industry Really Works | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

How War Propaganda in the Film Industry Really Works

As the co-authors of National Security Cinema, we have become known — rather inaccurately — for encouraging two major ideas: 1. That the government is really important in making movies more militaristic. 2. That Hollywood doesn’t produce dissenting films. While the first of these is somewhat true it is a simplification, the second is a falsehood.

The government is involved in as wide a range of entertainment projects as you can imagine, from video games to chat shows to blockbusters to docudramas. While many of these were militaristic from conception, before the government got involved, there is no doubt the Department of Defense (a.k.a. the Pentagon) has encouraged the militarization of popular culture and is pro-actively seeking further influence in Hollywood.

However, we want to emphasize that government support is by no means a prerequisite for Hollywood making militaristic movies. The sub-genre we have proposed — “national security cinema” — does not necessarily require the involvement of the actual national security apparatus in the production process.