Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Anne Quinney

Second Advisor

William Schenck

Third Advisor

Emily Fransee

Relational Format



Cinema is not only a popular form of entertainment but an art through which socio-cultural, economic, and political activities intersect. France's cinematic history, in particular, is characterized by its government's protectionist policies and the enduring popularity of New Wave films. Yet, the end of World War II saw the expansion of American soft power and, consequently, widespread fear that Hollywood’s market dominance would push out local producers. In this thesis, I aim to study the impact of Cold War anti-Americanism on the French film industry’s development from 1946 to 1965. Through a critical discourse analysis of popular film magazines of the era, I identify the dominant anti-American themes within industry discussions and place their evolution within a broader historical context. When examining publications such as Cahiers du cinema, it becomes clear that the sense of a French cinematic “crisis” existed regardless of French filmmakers’ success and innovation. Nonetheless, the State’s choice to begin quality-based subsidies at the onset of the New Wave was not coincidental. I conclude that the government’s cultural policy did not aim to assuage anti-Hollywood fears within the film industry but to exercise soft power over international audiences by solidifying the image of “French cinema.”

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.