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In the twentieth century, film became one of the most (if not the most) influential media on
popular consciousness. Today (Feb. 5th) we will watch a two-hour film, MRS MINIVER. It is a
Hollywood film which appeared in theatres in 1942. If you don't watch it, it might be hard to do
this assignment. But you could probably still do it if you find write-ups about the film online -
which is easy to do. So, if you do it that way, without actually watching the film, that's fine with
me, as long as you don't plagiarize. But if you want to actually watch a long old movie that is an
excellent example of propaganda in film, you'll want to come to class.
The setting is a village or small town in England, during the early stages of World War II. The
main protagonist is Mrs. Minniver, who is supposed to be a middle-class British woman - she is
both a wife and mother. The film won six academy awards, including best picture. Today, when
looking back at this film, it is obviously a work of wartime propaganda, whatever one thinks of
its merits as a film. British PM during WW2, Winston Churchill, said MRS MINIVER was more
helpful to the nation in wartime than a fleet of warships.
In one paragraph, describe at least two things about the film that struck you as particularly good
propaganda - 'good' in the sense of 'effective', not necessarily 'good' as in 'morally good'. (This
shouldn't be hard. There is propaganda from start to finish in this film, not only about the British
and the Germans in relation to the war, but also about the class system in England, the way
gender roles are portrayed, and many other things besides.)
The assignment is due on Thursday, February 7th, in class.