People Break Down The Movies That Are Straight Up Propaganda
Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

One of the more fascinating films I've seen is Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. Riefenstahl played a seminal role in producing Nazi propaganda and Triumph of the Will is her magnum opus, chronichling the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg and featuring speeches from such figures as Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Hess.

The film makes for disconcerting viewing these days given the... you know... Nazis, but there is no doubt that it is technically innovative, having a profound impact on film and documentary production thereafer. Riefenstahl, who was detained after World War II and lived to be 101, claimed to have been politically naive and later said her biggest regret in life was meeting Hitler.

Her life–and Triumph of the Will's production–have been the subject of numerous documentaries over the years though efforts to make a biographical film about her life, including one that would have starred Jodie Foster, have stalled due to concerns about the potential project's commercial appeal.

Of course, Triumph of the Will is not the only film out there that was made for purely propagandic purposes or that hosts specific underlying messages.


We heard more about those after Redditor fjeek asked the online community:

"Which movies do you think are straight up propaganda?"

What the Bleep Do We Know!? (2004)

"Oh man, there was a "documentary" a while back called "What the Bleep Do We Know!?" that advertised itself as a science documentary exploring the weirdness of quantum physics. It sounded cool and I actually went and saw it in the theater."

"Turns out it was a flat-out scam promoting the ideas of a new age cult called the Ramtha School of Enlightenment. A handful of physicists were duped into appearing and heavily edited to appear as though they agreed with the cult's message. I've never felt so cheated leaving a theater."

NotaBonobo

The director of that film went on to be a central figure in the NXIVM cult. Messed up, right?

Rocky IV (1985)

"Rocky 4. Love the movie whole heartedly but Rocky winning the Cold War was a bit blatant."

[deleted]

One of the most unsubtle films to come out of the era. Cold War propaganda was everywhere!

Rambo III (1988)

"Rambo III hanging out with Osama bin Laden and other anti-Soviet child Freedom Fighters in Afghanistan."

norbertus

Funny how the Rambo movies went from “messed up Vietnam vet goes psycho because war is hell” to “let’s shoot the Commies."

Battlefield Earth (2000)

"Battlefield Earth. It was based off the book written by the nut job who made up Scientology."

UpstairsTraffic9221

It is also one of the most unintentionally hilarious films ever made. They took themselves sooo seriously.

The Green Berets (1968)

"The Green Berets with John Wayne is a straight up U.S. propaganda film for the Vietnam War. When I saw it, the build up/rationale for Iraq was going strong and you just had to edit "Iraq/Afghanistan" where they said Vietnam to hear the same things the politicians and news at the time were saying."

mrzizzerdly

This is spot on. It would be almost comical if... you know, people hadn't gone to Vietnam and died.

God's Not Dead (2014)

"Even as a Christian I'd say the movie 'God's Not Dead.' It's such an over-exaggeration of Christian life and it demonizes everyone who isn't a Christian, especially atheists and people of different beliefs. It's a bad film and should be offensive to everyone including Christians."

MrMcFrostee

The fact that there's been a successful film series including films with increasingly comical names really sells it.

Transformers (2007)

"The Michael Bay Transformer Movies. Think about it, weird evil robot aliens attack earth and the American military helps fight them off and save the day."

RD0AM300

American Sniper (2014)

"American sniper turned an absolute psychopath who bragged about killing people in New Orleans during Katrina into an American hero."

Unsettlingpresence

Top Gun (1986)

"Top Gun was a recruitment movie for the Navy and the Air Force."

n_original

Don't forget gay volleyballing! So important.

Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

"Behind Enemy Lines (2001). Owen Wilson, of all people, plays a smart@ss military man, who gets stuck in an Eastern European war zone, while his superiors scramble to find him, and bring him home."

"I don’t think it was meant to be propaganda, but it DID come out just after 9/11 happened, so it was touted as the “Rah rah America!” super patriotic film that so many were thirsting to see at the time."

ActingAspie

Some horrible stuff went down in Bosnia in the 1990s. The Bosnian Serbs were responsible for a large part of that horror. However the other two sides were not without their own acts of horror. Anyone who tells you they really understand what went down is full of it.

The movie basically sets the premise that the Bosnian Serbs were the sole evil bad guys, even going as far as having some guys wearing Soviet style communist uniforms which you would have never seen in Yugoslavia just to make it easier for the viewer to understand who was bad and who was good.

Think about the media you consume. Our brains are just really susceptible to propaganda and conspiracy theories, and they don't have to be elaborate.

Have some thoughts of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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