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Short Films from a Small NationDanish Informational Cinema 1935-1965$
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C. Claire Thomson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474424134

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424134.001.0001

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The Film World’s Cooperative Store: Institutions and Films of the 1930s and 1940s

The Film World’s Cooperative Store: Institutions and Films of the 1930s and 1940s

(p.47) 4. The Film World’s Cooperative Store: Institutions and Films of the 1930s and 1940s
Short Films from a Small Nation

C. Claire Thomson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter traces the early history of state-sponsored informational filmmaking in Denmark, emphasising its organisation as a ‘cooperative’ of organisations and government agencies. After an account of the establishment and early development of the agency Dansk Kulturfilm in the 1930s, the chapter considers two of its earliest productions, both process films documenting the manufacture of bricks and meat products. The broader context of documentary in Denmark is fleshed out with an account of the production and reception of Poul Henningsen’s seminal film Danmark (1935), and the international context is accounted for with an overview of the development of state-supported filmmaking in the UK, Italy and Germany. Developments in the funding and output of Dansk Kulturfilm up to World War II are outlined, followed by an account of the impact of the German Occupation of Denmark on domestic informational film. The establishment of the Danish Government Film Committee or Ministeriernes Filmudvalg kick-started aprofessionalisation of state-sponsored filmmaking, and two wartime public information films are briefly analysed as examples of its early output. The chapter concludes with an account of the relations between the Danish Resistance and an emerging generation of documentarists.

Keywords:   Danish cinema, Dansk Kulturfilm, Danish Government Film Committee (Ministeriernes Filmudvalg), Process films, PoulHenningsen, World War II and film, Danish Resistance

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