Studying the history of cinema shows that countries used it to build their political power, and to influence peoples. Therefore, a strategic relationship was developed between film production companies and the American system with all its institutions, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Within the framework of that partnership, the US administration used cinema to convey its messages to peoples, build a positive image of America, distort the image of enemies, identify countries that can be trusted, and build relations with them. Therefore, Robert Gregg believes that cinema films are the windows through which we see international relations.
In the American movie “Armageddon”, the powerful American bears the responsibility to save the earth from destruction, and no one in the world can do that but him; That is why the peoples of the earth smile at him as he advances to take responsibility and face the challenge, just as the peoples of the world are unaware of the dangers they face.
Normalization of relations and popular culture
American political scientist Cynthia Weber points to an important factor in building international relations and normalizing relations between countries by infusing the ideas and perspectives of a particular country into popular culture; This shows the importance of studying the relationship between politics and popular culture, and achieving agreement on this discourse.
Turkish researcher Ali Fuat Şengul says in his master’s thesis submitted to the Middle East Technical University: Cinema is an ideological means, and there is a complex relationship between films and power; Movies define who we are against the other.
Hidden meanings and national propaganda
Filmmakers were able to develop methods to disguise nationalist propaganda and instill meaning in viewers. For example, Hollywood leads the viewer to believe that America is the superpower that bears responsibility for the security of the world.
This hidden meaning serves the goals of the United States in pushing the world to accept its role as a driver of events and an actor in building international relations, and it also makes viewers in weak countries accept American dependence as an acknowledgment of reality. Many Western films produced after the events of September 11, 2001 have this meaning in them.
Thus, nationalist propaganda indirectly entered the minds of viewers, and they were subjected to a set of rules and values that the United States wanted to impose on the world.
Building a global landscape
The United States has used cinema since the end of World War II to construct a global superpower landscape, to normalize its foreign policies, and to provide the moral-political basis for its decisions and actions by promoting a range of hidden meanings in films.
For example, the main message of films like “Independence Day” (1996) and “Armageddon” (1998) is that America is the center of the universe, so destroying Washington means destroying the world, so Americans bear the burden of saving the world even from the hands of nature itself; The United States uses films to reinforce the idea that Americans have a responsibility to save the human race, and that Washington is the center of the world.
This illustrates the strong relationship between American foreign policy goals and film production companies, and that these companies are working to impose American control over the world, and push peoples to accept subordination to the center that works to save humanity.
US President Roosevelt said, “Cinema is an important economic and social component of the American national project.”
Armageddon: The Peoples Smile at America
In the American movie “Armageddon”, the strong American bears the responsibility to save the earth from destruction, and no one in the world can do that but him, so the peoples of the earth smile at him as he steps forward to take responsibility, and faces the challenge, just as the peoples of the world are not aware of the dangers that you are facing.
This hidden meaning is also repeated in the movie “Independence Day”; The American people are the only people who can save the world, and this people knows their responsibility, and they can bear it.
American cinematic politics
From the analysis of American films, we can discover the goals of American cinematic policy, and the American national propaganda that is indirectly promoted in films. Among the most important pillars upon which this propaganda is based are the following:
- The United States’ responsibility to save the earth, and to protect the world.
- The United States is the great hero (Superman).
- People must be happy with the role of the United States because it aims to protect and save them.
- The United States represents the “good”, while its enemies represent the “evil”.
Cinema is an American national project
In this light, we can understand the words of former US President Roosevelt, “The cinema is an important economic and social component of the American national project.” Under the direction of Roosevelt, film production companies played an important role in World War II by influencing the attitudes of the masses, portraying the American heroism, and preparing peoples to accept American control over the world.
During the Cold War, American cinema played an important role in clarifying its position in the American national project, and its political and propaganda function. The Cold War made it clear that cinema is a force used to influence and direct people’s beliefs. American cinema waged propaganda and ideological war against the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, and formed a state of anti-communism in Western countries.
Political analysis of cinematic messages
This role played by American cinema during the Cold War illustrates the importance of studying films with a political analytical perspective that aims to discover the ideas and messages that cinema works to instill in the minds of peoples, and which form the basis for building relations between countries, and that these ideas can be more Influenced by weapons of mass destruction, cinema contributed to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the American victory in the Cold War.
But this is just an example of the role that cinema plays in building international relations and shaping the image of the world in people’s minds.
Cinema has built the image of America as always right, dehumanized enemies, and provoked hatred and fear of hostile countries, just as cinema builds borders between the “I” and the “other”. American cinema works in general to legitimize American foreign policy and its relations with countries, and that it must control the world to carry out its global responsibility to save it, and to defend the good peoples against the evil ones.
International relations under control
In this light, international relations are formulated within the framework of an international system based on the justification of American hegemony, and cinema plays its role in building the system of international relations by pushing peoples to accept the ideological foundations of American domination. America built its cinematic strategy after World War II to confirm the legitimacy of American domination of the world, and that it is natural for weak countries to submit to it and accept subordination to it as the legal representative of the world.
The ideological function of cinema
Turkish researcher Ali Fuat Şengul reached an important conclusion, which is that the American film industry performs an ideological function and works to achieve the goals of American foreign policy. One of the most important components of this ideological function is the portrayal of the identity of the American state.
American cinema had its place in the American system; It is an institution that plays a role no less important than any other institution, and its role complements these institutions, and it is a political force used by the United States to impose its control over the world, and this shows the role that cinema plays in building international relations; Countries operate in a context based on mental and stereotypical images that the cinema has contributed to instilling in the minds of peoples.
entertainment fairy tale
This explains that the saying: entertainment is the main goal of cinema, and that art for art is a myth promoted by American cinema companies to hide indirect propaganda, and the hidden meanings that films work to instill in the minds of peoples, the most important of which is that countries must To be subject to the domination of America, and to accept its dependence on it, as it is the center of the world.
Therefore, countries must formulate their relationship with all countries of the world on this basis, and refrain from building alliances that the United States is not satisfied with so as not to be classified in the axis of evil that America is working to protect peoples from its danger and threat. Thus, American cinema prepared peoples’ minds to accept neo-colonialism, neoliberalism, capitalism, and American domination, and prompted them not to think about revolution against that bitter reality, and not to resist capitalist exploitation.
It is a cinema that creates the reality in which countries build their relations and think within its framework, but building the future requires revolution against this reality and the culture of slavery and submission to America to build new global alliances.
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