Economics and Politics

  • Jill Forbes
  • Sarah Street


In the space of a century, the cinema has grown from a curiosity exhibited in the fairgrounds of western Europe and America to be part of a multi-billion-dollar business. In the early years, cinema was dominated by buccaneering capitalists like Charles Pathé; today it is an integral part of a global electronics industry which is likely to expand massively in the twenty-first century, with feature films making up a ‘significant element’ alongside sports programming and news gathering, and playing ‘a leading role in the growth of fresh ancillary and new technology-driven markets’ (Finney, 1). In this introduction we seek to trace the means by which cinema in Europe gradually became a vital component of the culture industries and, in the process, acquired a symbolic function in Europe’s fight to protect itself against economic and cultural domination by the United States.


Film Production Film Industry Feature Film European Government American Film 
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Copyright information

© Jill Forbes and Sarah Street 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jill Forbes
  • Sarah Street

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