Educational Films in the Interwar Period:
Germany, France and Italy, a Comparison

Since the birth of film there have been attempts to broaden the area of application for cinematographic depictions so that they are not simply used for purposes of popular entertainment but also for public education and in schools. The preferred film genre for dissipating knowledge and information to a larger audience has typically been the documentary film, generally in the form of feature-length or short-films produced for the cinema or as educational films to be shown as part of school lessons or introduced to youth or adult education.

The project examines educational films that address colonialism. In order to pursue the question of whether such films were employed in schools and, if so, in what way, contemporary magazines, journals and files will be analysed, as the debate concerning the use of such material resulted in controversial debates among teachers and reforming educationalists. The study will take the form of a tri-national comparison between Germany, France and Italy with the aim of establishing whether the introduction of films to lessons was a European-wide phenomenon and if so, to what extent this was the case.