Outbreak of the war
End of the war
Vienna in the war, film extract, A 1916

Copyright: Filmarchiv Austria
Partner: Filmarchiv Austria


Mythical heroes: films as sources, promoters and communicators of ideals and propaganda

Every war has its ‘heroes’. The Austro-Hungarian films showed heroes on the battlefield and the home front. It documented the troops marching off to war full of enthusiasm – sometimes with re-enacted scenes. A lot of the films were simulated, as it was almost impossible for the ‘heroes’ behind the camera to film real battle scenes. It was easier to film the supreme commander, Emperor Karl I, who was shown as a loving father and Christian and also as the leading military commander. Female workers in the armaments industry were shown in propaganda films doing their duty for the fatherland and defending the home front. The return of the survivors was all the more sobering. Wounded broken heroes were a common sight in post-war society. But to keep up the image of the heroic soldier, one-sided war films boomed, and anti war films were treated with hostility.

Translation: Nick Somers