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Between Angelopoulos and the battleship Potemkin: Cinema and the making of young communists in Greece in the initial post-dictatorship period (1974-81)

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Abstract

The state of the art historiography of youth cultures in post-war Europe centres on 'Americanization' as a process of selective reception of American cultural products, including Hollywood cinema, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. However, this paradigm obscures the transnational appeal of French, Italian and Soviet cinema. By contrast, France and the USSR are presented in this article as significant points of reference, at least for young Greek Communists in the period from 1974 to 1981. The article also stresses the importance of Greek politically engaged films in the making of young Communists in the same period. In brief, this article argues that the relationship between the circulation and reception of films and the making of Communist youth identities in Greece in the initial post-dictatorship period (1974-1981) was connected with two intertwined processes: the construction and the challenging of a collective antifascist memory that revolved around left-wing partisan activity in Greece in the early 1940s, a memory that was also captured in the flourishing in the 1970s' production of Greek politically engaged films, and the employment and subversion of the classification of Greek and non-Greek cinematic genres into 'progressive' and 'reactionary' types in the cultural politics of the Greek Communist youth organizations.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-308
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean History Quarterly
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

    Research areas

  • 'Glocalization', Communism, Memory, Youth culture

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