Segments in this Video

Prelude: Overview of Soviet Cinema Propaganda (01:52)


After 1917, the world is split into two ideological camps: communism and capitalism. Short films demonstrate how Lenin used cinema to promote communist propaganda and hatred of the West.

Anti-American Propaganda (03:44)

From the 1930s to the end of the 1970s, Americans were depicted in Soviet cinema as evil racists, unemployed exploited workers, and warmongers. In 1933, Mayakovsky's "Black & White" depicts the plight of the black man in America.

American Racism in the 1930s (04:55)

In an excerpt, "Mister Twister" (1963) finds himself duped by Soviet hotel owners after he shows his racism. Moral: ordinary Soviet citizens educate a rich American racist. A 1949 children's cartoon, "Someone Else's Voice" teaches that jazz is wrong.

Anti-Americanism in Soviet Cinema (06:44)

"Ave Maria" (1972) condemns American aggression in Viet Nam.

Money Buys Power in America (03:22)

In Soviet society, it was wrong to be richer than a neighbor, but in the 1963 propaganda cartoon "Millionaire," even an American dog could become a millionaire and get elected to the U.S. Senate.

Promoting Ruthlessness as an American Value (06:11)

Soviet director and artist Vladimir Tarasov talks about creating propaganda films about an America he had never personally visited. In "Shooting Range" (1979), a ruthless businessman hires a young American boy to be a human target.

1930s Racism in America (02:29)

"Black & White," a 1933 full-length propaganda cartoon, depicts the plight of the black man in America and its territories.

America's Wealthy Class (05:14)

The 1963 propaganda cartoon "Mister Twister" portrays a rich American family with money to travel anywhere in the world. On their ship to Leningrad, they enjoy every luxury while all the ethnics labor below decks.

Racist American in Leningrad (04:52)

In a continuation of "Mister Twister," Twister reveals his racism in Leningrad by leaving a hotel when he sees a black man. All the city's hoteliers teach him a lesson by refusing to accommodate him and his family.

A Racist Has a Change of Heart (04:47)

In a continuation of "Mister Twister," a concierge takes pity on Mrs. Twister and Susie, but Twister spends the night in a lobby chair and has a strange dream. When he is offered a room the next day, he jumps at the chance to have ethnic neighbors.

Soviet Propaganda Against American Jazz (04:52)

In this 1949 full-length propaganda cartoon called "Someone Else's Voice," a magpie gives up her natural voice to adopt the sound of American Jazz. In her arrogance, she offers to teach the nightingale to sing.

Soviet Propaganda Against American Jazz (04:34)

In a continuation of "Someone Else's Voice" (1949), Soviet children learn that American jazz is arrogant, unnatural, and evil when a magpie gives up her natural voice to sound like a jazz band. The other birds drive her out of the forest.

America's Aggression in Viet Nam (04:49)

This 1972 full-length propaganda film is designed to criticize America's aggression in Viet Nam. The music of "Ave Maria" provides background for juxtaposed images of sacred material and violent battle scenes.

America's Aggression in Viet Nam (04:43)

This continuation of a 1972 full-length propaganda film is designed to criticize America's aggression in Viet Nam. In this segment, archived film footage of the Viet Nam War shows the violence of war and America's role in Viet Nam.

Pedigree and Money in America (06:39)

In "The Millionaire" (1963), a Soviet propaganda film, a wealthy old lady leaves her fortune to her pedigreed bulldog. The wealthy dog enjoyed every luxury (and decadence) society offered.

Soviet Anti-Capitalism Propaganda (03:15)

In a continuation of "The Millionaire" (1963), a Soviet propaganda film, the wealthy bulldog rises through the ranks of society and is ultimately elected to the U.S. Senate, proving that in America, money can buy everything.

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American Imperialists: Soviet Animation vs. the United States

Part of the Series : Animated Soviet Propaganda
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Racism, unemployment, aggression, excess—the USSR’s animation studios frequently took aim at these aspects of American culture. Representing five decades of animated Soviet propaganda, this program features short films that blast the United States and its perceived evils. Black and White and Mister Twister extol the absence of bigotry in Soviet society, while Someone Else’s Voice portrays jazz as an enemy of the people. Ave Maria condemns America’s presence in Vietnam and the influence of the Catholic church, and The Shooting Range underscores the violence behind economic and class divisions. Seven films total, plus commentary from Russian State Film School professor Igor Kokarev, director/artist Vladimir Tarasov, and Dr. Sonia Marshak, great-granddaughter of the acclaimed Soviet poet. (106 minutes) Portions are in Russian with English subtitles.

Length: 107 minutes

Item#: BVL35505

ISBN: 978-1-4213-4456-0

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

"Provides a wealth of material for teachers of modern Russian history, Cold War history, and film studies. ...The short length and compelling imagery of the films make them ideal for use in the classroom. The films also provide a fascinating history of animation and political propaganda for students of film and animation. Highly recommended." —Educational Media Reviews Online

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