Center of Oriental studies
Modern Asian Studies program student
Controversial Role of Women in Soviet and Maoist Propaganda Movies
Prepared for: Prof. Deborah Sommer
It did not take long since the invention of film for it to become a predominant art form in Western societies in the first half of XXth century. Because of its visual and emotional impact, film has also been widely used for propaganda purposes. For example, it was an effective way to reach mostly illiterate peasant masses during socialist revolution in 1917 in Russia. (Taylor, 2006) Numerous other examples could be taken from Nazi Germany, Maoist China, USA and Britain during the Second World War, etc. In this paper a particular topic of movie propaganda will be discussed – the depiction of women role in society in Soviet and Maoist propaganda movies. Feminist film theory will be applied to analyze two selected movies. The primary assumption of this theory is that men and women are unequal and that prevailing structures of society place women under male domination. (Rushton, Bettinson, 2010) Socialist revolution propagated equality of genders and it can be seen in propagandist movies too. Thus this paper will analyze the visual and narrative structures of these movies, seeking for an additional story told by those structures.
Concept and role of women before socialist revolution
Women role in society has been changing throughout the ages and in various ways in different cultures. Russia and China have very distinctive histories and structures of culture and consequently women were governed by different rules of society. In China largely the society has been structured mostly in Confucian relationship model. There was no abstract definition of women as such, as gender; she was defined through her role in society – a mother, a daughter, a wife. Relation between a husband and a wife is one of three main Confucian... [continues]
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