The cinema and the public: a critical analysis of the origin, constitution, and control of the British Film Institute (1934)

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countries for first-hand information regarding their operation, but had, admittedly, based its conclu- sions concerning them on extracts from back num- bers of the International Review of Educational Cinematography ; that, in fact, in both Russia and Italy,* the State was using the Institutes for its own propagandist purposes—the Commission itself stated that Mussolini used it effectively ; while in Russia, as the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded the House of Lords,** it was used to teach the children that there is no God ; and, further, that the combined influence of all these Institutes together was completely ignored by those Holly- wood producers who still supplied 70 per cent, of all the entertainment films shown in this country. 2. A careful examination, again, of the Chapter in the Commission's report on Film Censorship —a matter in which large numbers of clergy, social workers, teachers and others are acutely interested —revealed a bewildering jumble of out-of-date statistics on the one hand,*)* and, on the other, of academic generalisations altogether divorced from realityj ; while leaving the reader at a loss to know whether, in the opinion of the Commission, the present system of a trade censorship was a good one which the Institute should leave severely alone, or a bad one which the Institute must hasten to modify by some form of Certification of its own —a kind of super-censorship—such as could hardly fail sooner or later to take its place. * The same is now true of Germany. ** On July 6th, 1932. t E.g., those regarding the proportion of " A " and " U " films given on p. 37. % E.g., the reference to the treatment of " sex subjects " on p. 35. Page 14