The Marshall Plan films about Greece

This chapter examines how Marshall Plan documentary films about reconstruction in Greece mobilised national culture and identity politics in their audio-visual rhetoric. Addressing the films’ humanitarian narratives, the chapter suggests Marshall Plan documentaries inaugurated a visual politics of neo-humanitarianism. It analyses how classical antiquity is evoked in the films to stand not only for Greece’s reconstruction but also for Western Europe’s future and its alignment with the US vision of a geopolitical ‘pax Americana’. Focusing on Humphrey Jennings’ The Good Life (1952), the chapter explores a historical dialectic between modern and classical Greece that positions the Marshall Plan aid within a dual perspective of national reconstruction and universal necessity.

in Global humanitarianism and media culture