Film and the Making of Postwar Internationalism: Progressive Filmmaking at the Rockefeller Boards, 1934-1945

by Rob Aitken

Jan 1, 2013
During November 2012, I spent time at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) in support of a broader research project entitled Film and the Making of Postwar Internationalism. The month-long archival research was focused on the role of the Rockefeller Boards [especially the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) and the General Education Board (GEB)] in cultivating ties to international progressive documentary film networks centered around British filmmaker and bureaucrat John Grierson. In this research report, I will detail the ways in which my archival visit to the RAC helped clarify the role of the RF and the GEB in inserting a distinctively American voice into progressive film networks of the 1930s and 1940s. Most importantly, the material I researched at the RAC helped shed light on the complexity of the Rockefeller interest in progressive filmmaking.
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