Projections of America

PBS INTERNATIONAL
invites you to an exclusive screening of PROJECTIONS OF AMERICA
at the COSIMA Cinema on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, at 3:30pm.
Mrs. Emerson will be delivering brief welcome remarks.

The screening includes one of the original WWII propaganda films featured in the documentary – for the first time on a Berlin screen since 1945: The Autobiography of a Jeep

PROJECTIONS OF AMERICA
a film by Peter Miller
produced by DOCDAYS Productions

The film addresses an untold World War II story which brings to life the production and distribution of a series of documentary films collectively titled Projections of America. The project was headed up by the Academy Award®-winning Hollywood screenwriter Robert Riskin, whose personal and political journey is the dramatic heart of the story. Teaming up with an improbable collection of brilliant filmmakers – including Josef von Sternberg and John Houseman, as well as many of the giants in the documentary field – Riskin created some of the most indelible images of America ever put to film. But 70 years later, the Projections of Americamovies have disappeared, hidden away in a government archive.

The Projections of America films were shown exclusively to foreign audiences, many at the point of liberation — and our evidence of their reception points to the fact that the documentaries were welcomed as a breath of fresh air. They calmed and cajoled people to the idea of a different and better world after the war. They were idealistic in that sense yes, and literal in their intent to build post-war institutions led by Allied forces. But they also just showed ordinary people going about their daily lives, working to achieve their goals, striving to make their mark on society. These were very different feelings from much other propaganda through the war that was largely about power, conquest, and denunciation of the enemy. Journalists who finally got to see the films in America in 1944 were so taken with their message that they urged the authorities to show them to home audiences. But they never were.

This special screening includes one of the original WWII propaganda films featured in the documentary: The Autobiography of a Jeep  With friendly support of the Federal Agency for Civic Education the restored film with German subtitles will be screened for the first time since August 1945. The Federal Agency for Civic Education is about to publish ten original films from the collection later this year.