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Risso, Linda

“Don’t mention the Soviets!” An overview of the short films produced
by the NATO Information Service during the Cold War*

This paper offers an examination of the short movies produced by the NATO Information Service (NATIS) since 1949. It demonstrates that the material reflected NATO’s changing priorities and strategic scope. Moving away from the strictly defined military themes of the early 1950s, the death of Stalin and the following climate of detente led NATIS to explore new themes, including the economic and political cooperation and to address new audiences. In the 1970s, new themes and new audiences were introduced. This paper also demonstrate that despite the efforts of the NATIS staff, the production costs, the cumbersome decision-making procedure and the translation problems often translated into a problematic delay between the decisions taken within NATIS and the moment in which the material was ready for circulation. This delay often meant that the by the time the public could view such material, the message that NATO wanted to pass on had moved on and the short movies were already out of date.

Friday 30 Oct, 9.00-11.00 SESSION 4
Panel: A "Cold War Culture"? Music, Radio and Documentaries across the Curtain, 1945-1989