The Films of the Marshall Plan
On the 5th of June 1947, the then US Secretary of State George C. Marshall announced the European Recovery Program in an address at Harvard University: herewith he also started a film program as yet unparalleled in the media history. Some 200 documentary films were made during the years of European reconstruction within the frame of the Marshall Plan, highlighting the basic economic and social changes that the continent underwent in the post-war period.
It is on these documentary films that our interest focuses: for they picture a Europe which only few of us can still imagine. And they document in vivid images and sounds the achievements of the Marshall Plan which made it possible for Europe to become, once again, a factor of economic and political power on the international arena.
Director Hans Beller talked to those people, who determined the purpose of the films, with the producers and with those, who actually made the films. Our film presents footage from the most successful Marshall Plan films and shows what their contents were and what kind of ideas they put forth: advertizing for a free market economy, international coopertion and European unity. We have focused on films, which profiled NATO as a most needed security pact at the beginning of the Cold War and on others dealing with industrial productivity and technology.