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‘Short Film of the Year–A Nazi Rite of Passage’ : Gösta Werner and the Making of The Sacrifice (1945)

Stjernholm, Emil LU (2020) In Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television p.732-749
Abstract
This article reconsiders the Swedish filmmaker Gösta Werner’s experimental short film The Sacrifice (Midvinterblot, 1945) and places its production history in an ideological context. In this case study, the article shows that The Sacrifice, which depicts gruesome old Norse pagan rituals of sacrifice, threw light on the director’s collaboration with the Nazi controlled German film company Universum Film AG (UFA) in the production of propaganda newsreels and that the film evoked a debate on the representation of violence in the aftermath of World War II. While some critics accused The Sacrifice of being influenced by ‘Blut und Boden’ and other elements of Nazi ideology others praised the film for its formal innovations and it was named the... (More)
This article reconsiders the Swedish filmmaker Gösta Werner’s experimental short film The Sacrifice (Midvinterblot, 1945) and places its production history in an ideological context. In this case study, the article shows that The Sacrifice, which depicts gruesome old Norse pagan rituals of sacrifice, threw light on the director’s collaboration with the Nazi controlled German film company Universum Film AG (UFA) in the production of propaganda newsreels and that the film evoked a debate on the representation of violence in the aftermath of World War II. While some critics accused The Sacrifice of being influenced by ‘Blut und Boden’ and other elements of Nazi ideology others praised the film for its formal innovations and it was named the Swedish short film of the year. Tracing how these practices affected the authorial discourse surrounding Werner during and after the war, the article raises questions not only concerning how other media practitioners handled this chapter of his life, but also how he himself treated the war years in the construction of his own biographical legend. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
pages
732 - 749
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • scopus:85085511031
ISSN
0143-9685
DOI
10.1080/01439685.2020.1763559
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
669ed4c1-bbbf-46f8-858b-86d49504703c
date added to LUP
2020-10-20 14:44:45
date last changed
2020-11-06 11:32:29
@article{669ed4c1-bbbf-46f8-858b-86d49504703c,
  abstract     = {This article reconsiders the Swedish filmmaker Gösta Werner’s experimental short film The Sacrifice (Midvinterblot, 1945) and places its production history in an ideological context. In this case study, the article shows that The Sacrifice, which depicts gruesome old Norse pagan rituals of sacrifice, threw light on the director’s collaboration with the Nazi controlled German film company Universum Film AG (UFA) in the production of propaganda newsreels and that the film evoked a debate on the representation of violence in the aftermath of World War II. While some critics accused The Sacrifice of being influenced by ‘Blut und Boden’ and other elements of Nazi ideology others praised the film for its formal innovations and it was named the Swedish short film of the year. Tracing how these practices affected the authorial discourse surrounding Werner during and after the war, the article raises questions not only concerning how other media practitioners handled this chapter of his life, but also how he himself treated the war years in the construction of his own biographical legend.},
  author       = {Stjernholm, Emil},
  issn         = {0143-9685},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {732--749},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television},
  title        = {‘Short Film of the Year–A Nazi Rite of Passage’ : Gösta Werner and the Making of The Sacrifice (1945)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01439685.2020.1763559},
  doi          = {10.1080/01439685.2020.1763559},
  year         = {2020},
}