T Nation

Nationalism In Film


Hey guys,

I figured I could consult the guys I get my advice from on an everday basis. In my political science class I am studying the Politics of Film. We are trying to examine the concept of nationhood in relation to cinema. So my paper and presentation have to relate to political elements in a film but most important to have a film that conveys nationalism and nationhood. So with that, whats your favorite movie which portrays that? Any ideas? Thanks.



Red Dawn


The Patriot


Red Dawn

You could use Triumph of the Will, which is fascinating in some ways, in the whole Wagnerian "Hitler descends from the sky" deal, or Battleship Potemkin, an even bigger masterpiece, just be aware they're both totalitarian propaganda.


Patriot is good.

Top Gun could lead to an interesting discussion.

Gettysburg and Glory are good examples of Nationalism explored in the context of Civil War. Glory also looks at racism in wartime.

A more recent movie, The Great Raid, was a good example of Nationlism, good and bad, in film. It also looks at how Nationalism and racism is used to justify atrocities and war crimes. Pretty deep subject matter if you want to go down that path.


Another monumental piece of propaganda is Olympiad. Leni Riefenstahl was commissioned by the Nazis to film the 1936 Olympic Games 'as a song of praise to the ideals of National Socialism'.



Can't forget Band of Brothers.
Maj Dick Winters lives about 20 mins. from me BTW and I got to talk with him once for about 10 mins. What a rush.

Also an excellent not so obvious one - Star Trek: First Contact


Most action movies coming out of Hollywood are a good example of this. It's usually the US or a US citizen that saves the day.

Anyway, that is not a complaint, they do need to fill seats.


you can't have a canadian rambo...that would just be silly :stuck_out_tongue:



Coming to save the motherfucking day!


I recommend "Alexander Nevsky" by Sergei Eisentstein. It was made before the war in 1938 and considered too anti-German as the non-agression pact was signed. After the Nazis invaded in 1941 Stalin ordered it to be shown in every cinema in the Soviet Union.
Apart from its propoganda it was a wonderful film the music is some of the greatest written for the Soviet cinema.


bump bumo


Damn......I'm gonna have to agree with JTF here. Is it too early for a strong drink? :wink:

Yea, the patriot would be an exellent choice. But I think that Air Force One with Harrison ford is pretty good too w/r/t nationalism and such.


star wars.

the rebels speak like yanks..the evil empire like brits.