Marshall Plan propaganda films were made after the Second World War, during the period that Europe partook in the so called European Recovery Program, or the Marshall Plan. This form of emergency relief was offered by the United States of America to help Europe recover after the destructions caused by World War II. The films on this relief program were made with several purposes. For one, the European people had to gain more insight in how the plan was constructed, as well as what advantages it offered and what purpose it served. The films were meant to inform the European people on a local and (inter)national level, but also served to involve the American people. The documentaries visually and orally explained the plan’s intentions. Marshall aid consisted of material as well as immaterial matters—commodities as well as training. Strong emphasis was put on capitalism and the ‘American Way’ as the system that would help Europe recover better than any other system. The United States attempted to gain (Western) Europe as their ally through these propaganda films, also to fend off the communist threat from Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. The archive has over forty 16mm Marshall Plan propaganda films from around 1950 in its collection, amongst which (pseudo)documentaries, fiction films, and educational films. In addition, the archive has a number of news bulletins— specifically intended for the American people, whom accosted for the plan, to persuade them of the use of the program.
For more information on the Marshall Plan and Marshall Plan films, see the links below. The Marshall Plan Filmography was compiled by Linda R. Christenson, with whom the Film Archive exchanges information.
The Marshall Plan propaganda films of the Film Archive are perfectly suitable for (historical) research.
This collection of films used to belong to the ‘Stichting Vrienden van het Filmarchief van Nijmegen’ (the film archive at the University of Nijmegen) and as such was part of the donation by Tjitte de Vries and Ati Mul.