Nazi Cinema's New Women
This book examines the careers of three of Nazi cinema's preeminent movie actresses, painting a unique portrait of mass entertainment and stardom under Nazi rule. Bruns uses undiscovered sources and a new approach, which integrates visual analysis within a thorough political and social context, to trace how the Nazis tried to use films and stars to build National Socialism. This analysis focuses on female stars - an important but largely unexplored area - because they were mostly responsible for Nazi cinema's spectacular commercial success and political failure. Challenging earlier studies, which view Nazi cinema as an effective propaganda instrument that helped turn Germans into devoted 'Aryan' mothers and tough warriors, the book shows that the Nazi regime's liaison with the cinema was ambivalent. Films failed to disseminate a coherent political message and to Nazify German society. However, they helped the regime maintain power by diverting people's attention from the brutality of Hitler's rule and, eventually, from impending defeat.