Politics Go to the Movies : International Relations and Politics in Genre Films and Television
Joel R. Campbell, Daryl Bockett, Damien Horigan, Michael Mulvey, Barry Pollick, Cord A. Scott

Movies and television series are excellent tools for teaching political science and international relations. Understanding how stories in various film and television genres illustrate political ideas can better assist students and fans understand and appreciate the political subtext of these media products. This book examines politics through five film genres and their variants. Gangster movies focus on American and other organized crime. They reached their zenith in the films of Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. Political thrillers express paranoia about secrecy and political conspiracies, while action movies channel anger at foreign and domestic threats to order. Superhero films and TV present modern characters who seek to serve society as they face personal struggles about their individual identities. War movies promote positive images of wars when conflicts are perceived as successful, but often include antiwar messages when wars turn out badly. Western movies fell out of favor in the 1970s and 1980s but have undergone a renaissance since the 1990s. Westerns can be taken as either political parables, or as meditations on policing, anarchy, community organization. The author argues that while these genres all offer escape, they also offer important political lessons.

Lexington Books
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