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Description

Newsreel compiled by Dutch film distributors, most probably F.A. Nöggerath or Jean Desmet (Blom 2003: 270), showing material from different parts of the world. It focuses on topics loosely related to the actual situation on the battlefields: a new postal system, the unloading of guns and ammunition wagons, English soldiers, an exploded bridge over the Vistula River, and the American politician Daniels. Dutch film distributors used this method of compiling the news from all belligerent parties in an attempt to avoid one-sided propaganda, such as was offered by the French film giant Pathé Frères or Oskar Meester. Both these names became involved in official propaganda with the relevant authorities.

Context

Newsreels played a very important role in showing, if only indirectly, different aspects of war. The belligerent states sought to dominate newsreels with their propaganda films. Although Dutch cinemas suffered from a shortage of film screenings, severe restrictions were put upon material shown to the wider public. In order to maintain neutrality, it was essential to keep a well-balanced and neutral picture of war, its participants, and those affected by war, and this extended to the cinema.