Screening War and Peace: Newsreel Pragmatism in Neutral Sweden, September 1939 and May 1945
This chapter concentrates on newsreels screened in Sweden at the beginning and the end of the Second World War. During the war years, the dominant film company in Sweden, Svensk Filmindustri (SF), frequently imported entire newsreels and newsreel extracts. This study will expose some of the strategies at work behind the Swedish alterations and modifications of foreign newsreels in 1939 and in 1945. The approach is twofold: on the one hand, in-depth analyses will consider if, and if so how, the Swedish soundtrack and intertitles transformed foreign news imagery into cinematic information suitable for the domestic public sphere. These analyses will specifically try to ascertain if the rhetoric, tone, address and argumentation of the Swedish versions provided the foreign footage with the neutral aura officially required. On the other hand, contextual analyses will define the role and function of the coalition government and the national film censorship as well as exemplifying how the domesticated foreign newsreels were discussed and reviewed in the Swedish press.