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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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Citizens of the Future: Informational Film and the Welfare State

Citizens of the Future: Informational Film and the Welfare State

(p.118) 7. Citizens of the Future: Informational Film and the Welfare State
Short Films from a Small Nation

C. Claire Thomson

Edinburgh University Press

Although informational films made for domestic audiences in 1950s Denmark sometimes circulated internationally, their primary function was to instruct the populace about national institutions and infrastructure. They help to shape and renegotiate citizenship and national identity on screen, and mediate new technologies, laws and practices. This chapter examines five such films covering a range of topics: the national rail network, public libraries, home economics training for housewives, careers advice, and sport and leisure. Of these, three were directed by Theodor Christensen, a leading figure in Danish documentary. The production history of each film is outlined and contextualised within the contemporary socio-political developments and innovations which, in most cases, triggered the film projects. The chapter also describes the national network of informational film distribution, including Statens Filmcentral, and the screening of films in a range of venues such as cinemas, libraries and leisure clubs. The distinction in the Danish context between the forfilm (for theatrical exhibition) and foreningsfilm (for use by clubs and societies) is examined.

Keywords:   Danish cinema, Welfare state, Theodor Christensen, Theatrical exhibition, Foreningsfilm

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