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Newsreel politics: early American non-fiction and the Irish question

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Post Script
Issue number3
Volume32
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The article examines Irish-themed non-fiction films in early American cinema, tracing the evolution of such work from the silent era to the early sound period. It reveals a trend in the industry to move away from travelogues about Ireland in the 1910s to focus on sociopolitical upheaval in the mid and late 1910s and early 1920s, only to shift back by the end of that decade. This period also saw the rise of the American newsreel, which largely supplanted the travelogue. The newsreels were issued weekly by numerous companies with footage depicting an array of different stories, including struggles for Irish freedom. By working from primary sources that recorded the narratives and, in some cases, their intertitles, the article sheds light on how Irish people and issues were portrayed to general audiences in the USA at this time.