Newsreels from 1968 communist Bulgaria: the encompassing Us vs. the different Them
This study provides an original interpretation of 53 newsreels, produced and projected in the People s Republic of Bulgaria in the year 1968. Based on a thorough audiovisual analysis, the article shows that newsreels are prime examples for the power of politics to employ visual art and the unique features of cinema for its own aims. The study has ... three main findings. First, it establishes the multifaceted role of newsreels in Bulgaria in the historical context of 1968, drawing particular attention to the dynamic relations between the Soviet and Bulgarian peoples. Second, it investigates the ways in which newsreels construct underlying ideological oppositions and visual presentations of Us versus Them. More specifically, the article outlines several distinct forms of and relations between Us and Them in their historical and ideological contextualization. Third, the article shows that Bulgarian newsreels from 1968 cannot be regarded as one among many kinds of works of socialist art, or as just visualized news. Newsreels carry a strongly politicized message and are therefore a highly potent means of shaping and manipulating the public opinion. The article contributes to the broader field of newsreel studies, offering new insight to a subject matter that is still underrepresented.
Original publication in
On_culture: the open journal for the study of culture 4 (2017)