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Word Count: 2,735
I think that it is very difficult to ignore the contribution made by British Cinema during the years 1939 to 1945 Due to an entertainment tax imposed in an effort to boost the country s economy cinema prices had risen however it was calculated everybody in Britain under the age of 40 sic went to at least fifty three feature films a year1 This shows the widespread access and the potential influence cinema had on the general public Not only was the cinema used as a place of entertainment but also as a place to hear of current affairs from the weekly newsreels The late 1930s had been a struggle for Britain to successfully compete in the international marketplace however the Second World War gave the British film industry and its filmmakers an ideal opportunity to shine The nation was looking for support and reassurance and the film industry was in an ideal position to do just that British wartime cinema entered its most fruitful period on record with a sudden and necessary burst of creative activity As the documentary filmmakers of the 1930s had previously discovered their role to be that of commentator to reflect society and to mirror the strengths of the British public they were quickly utilised to produce films that would inform and unite a population in crisis A national identity was being sought and at last documentary had found its niche and enjoyed the greatest audience attendances of its history These films were championed for their realistic qualities and non-sensationalism of the war However whilst docu-realism was directly informing the public of wartime events purely fictional films were providing a light-hearted distraction from the atrocities of daily life These films echoed in a more subtle fashion the propagandist themes perpetuated by the government This newfound enthusiasm for British film may have sprung from a growing sense of patriotism as the war intensified indeed it should not be believed that filmmakers
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