How Different Is A Nature Documentary And Nazi Propaganda Essay

1051 Words Feb 17th, 2016 null Page
How different is a nature documentary and Nazi propaganda, really? My suggestion is they 're not very different at all. Of course, our expectations of documentaries and propaganda vary: we expect documentaries to be truthful, reliable. Propaganda of groups such as the Nazis, meanwhile, is considered manipulative—a great evil in the world. However, both utilise techniques of persuasion to the point of altering reality—when the style of the documentary becomes as important as its content; when, as put by Marshall McLuhan, the 'Medium becomes the message. ' This lecture will explore the validity of McLuhan 's statement to examples of both documentaries and propaganda, proving how persuasive these films really are.

Association—a major persuasive element—juxtaposes two independent images to form a new, third sense of meaning. It is used to great effect in the Nazi-propaganda film Triumph of the Will, but also—shockingly—in BBC Earth 's Human Planet. A key scene in Triumph of the Will uses association to bolster Adolf Hitler 's global image with the goal of emphasising (perhaps, even exaggerating) his popularity: what are surely separate shots—Hitler 's plane landing, a crowd of people waving—edited together, create an impression that the large, happy crowd is waving to him. Further solidifying the ideology of a universally-supported Fuhrer are; shots of smiling children, young girls giggling, contented couples in traditional dress. This scene is intended as a testament to the…

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