Request for instructions on the screening of Soviet movies in Croatian cinemas. 11 December 1950. Archival document
Correspondence between Cinematography Commission of the Government of the People’s Republic of Croatia (PRC) and Cinematography Commission of the Government of Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (FPRY) in December 1950 on the screening of Soviet movies in Croatian cinemas, illustrates the control by the Communist Party and state authorities over the import and distribution of films for screening in cinemas, as well as subordination of film repertoires to political and ideological needs.
Films produced in communist Yugoslavia until 1948 were based on the principle of socialist realism inspired by the USSR. The entire film industry developed under the ideological principles which directed the newly established state towards Marxist and socialist cinematography (Lučić 2015, p. 23). Accordingly, cinema repertoires were dominated by films from the USSR, while the influence of movies from Western countries, which were also screened, remained slight. After the Tito-Stalin Split (Yugoslav-Soviet Split) in 1948, Soviet movies stayed on cinema repertoires across Yugoslavia, but with increasing competition from Western, especially American movies (Lučić 2015, p. 71).
In a specific case, the Cinematography Commission informed Cinematography Commission of the Government of the FPRY of findings that film audiences were “protesting against the screening of particular Soviet films,” and that “a certain confusion” was caused by some scenes in domestic documentaries in which photographs of Stalin could be seen. While these film were “approved by the censors, but audiences were protesting against Soviet films,” the Cinematography Commission asked for urgent instructions as to whether it should any Soviet films should be removed from the cinema repertoire, and if so, which ones (HR-HDA-309. CC of the Government of PRC, file st. conf. 32/1950).
Zagreb Trg Marka Marulića 21, Croatia 10000
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HR-HDA-309. Cinematography Commission of the Government of People's Republic of Croatia, File Str. pov. 32/1950.
- Croatian State Archives.