Organized Panel Session
A significant shift in recent Cold War research has been an adoption of a more local and culturally specific frame of analysis. This means localizing the global ideological rivalry associated with the Cold War by examining it in relation to regional and local processes such as decolonization, modernity, and search for national identity. On the other hand, concerted efforts have also been made to explore the Cold War struggle from a transnational and cross-regional perspective. In the Asian cinema context, studies on Cold War-influenced networks (such as the circulation of socialist films across communist countries) as well as on the efforts of American agencies (such as the United States Information Service) to contain the communist influences in Asia offer us a more complex picture of the global cultural Cold War.
The goal of this panel is to investigate both the transnational and local dimensions of the Cold War in Asian cinema. There are four papers in total, which, taken together, cover a broad geographical and discursive scope: South Korean military newsreels made in Vietnam during the country's military involvement in the Vietnam War; the broad Cold War media culture environment in which the Shaw Brothers entertainment empire thrived; the richly expressive style of Vietnam’s revolutionary films derived in part from the Soviet avant-garde cinema of the 1920s and from the “thaw” films in the post-Stalin years; and the 1984 Indonesia film Pengkhianatan G 30 S/PKI and its role in cultivating a collective anti-communist memory surrounding the failed 1965 coup d’état.