Journal:Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis
Volume 34 (2017): The Great War in Lithuania and Lithuanians in the Great War: Experiences and Memories = Didysis karas Lietuvoje ir lietuviai Didžiajame kare: patirtys ir atmintys, pp. 125–146
During the Great War, the main conflicting powers established the first public institutions to create and spread propaganda. Governments treated cinema as a powerful medium which might influence men’s minds. While cinema became a potential weapon to use in propaganda struggles, screens in neutral states were made into battlefields. But the cinema wars did not finish after 1918. After the war, films depicting the Great War were made in various countries, and the films often contradicted each other. The article analyses the role that films and stories depicting the Great War played on Lithuanian cinema screens in the interwar period. The first part of the article discusses the relevance of themes of the Great War in the films and newsreels made in interwar Lithuania. The second part provides an overview of foreign films depicting the Great War that were shown in Lithuanian cinemas in the interwar period. Four types of films are distinguished, according to their function. Attempts are made to answer the question whether these films could have contributed to reflections on the Great War in the public sphere in Lithuania at that time.