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Introduction

From the standpoint of educational filmmaking, the Cold War was an era of innovation. Created as a way to engage children with material relating to current events, many children in America received nearly all of their information pertaining to the Cold War from educational films shown in school (Jacobs 26). Although the topics of the films ranged from Civil Defense to “Mental Hygiene,” there were similarities to be found in most of the films created. Many contained the same “faux-documentary” style, with a narrator over footage portrayed as real life instead of staged (Garrison 9). Even animated films contained this same instructional voiceover.

As well as similar styles, the films also contained similar themes, guiding children in what filmmakers viewed to be a time of turmoil for youth. These films were distributed to thousands of schools across the country, and acted as one of the primary methods for teaching children about the Cold War (Jacobs 28). As, the creation of these films soon bloomed into its own small industry, with distribution companies and educational production companies getting involved, many filmmakers claimed that the industry was not just a matter of profit but of “patriotic motivations” pushing them to create content to educate the children of America (Matthews 21).