1st Edition

Sport, Film and National Culture

Edited By Seán Crosson Copyright 2021
    264 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Sport and film have historically been key components of national cultures and societies. This is the first collection dedicated to examining the intersection of these popular cultural forces within specific national contexts.

    Covering films of all types, from Hollywood blockbusters to regional documentaries and newsreels, the book considers how filmic depictions of sport have configured and informed distinctive national cultures, societies and identities. Featuring case studies from 11 national contexts across 6 continents – including North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania – it reveals the common and contrasting approaches that have emerged within sport cinema in differing national contexts.

    This is fascinating and important reading for all students and researchers working in film, media, cultural studies or sport, and for broader enthusiasts of both sport and film.

    Sport, Film, and National Culture: An Introduction

    Seán Crosson

    Part I: Sport, Cinema, and National Culture in the USA


    1. Adapting an ‘American’ Football Biopic: Knute Rockne: All American

    Jesse Schlotterbeck


    2. Esther Williams, Americanness, the Aquacade and Sex: ‘A Swirl of Red, White and Blue Flags and Chesty Swimmers with Their Chins Up’

    Ellen Wright


    3. Multicultural American Heroes: Reading the Recent Biopics of Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens Through the Lens of American Civil Religion

    Grant Wiedenfeld


    4. Sports Film and the Reimagining of American Popular Culture: Billie Jean and Tonya            

    Gina Daddario


    Part II: The European Experience


    5. Sport Films and ‘Banal’ Nationalism in Interwar Belgium: Flandria Film, Mythomoteurs and the Cult of the ‘Flandriens’

    Daniel Biltereyst and Roel Vande Winkel


    6. Sport and National Culture in Swedish Film

    Peter Dahlén


    7. Soccer, Film, and the Third Reich: Hunters, Cowards, and Glory

    Rebeccah Dawson 


    8. Primo Carnera, Propaganda and Mussoliniʼs International Legitimisation: The Boxer who was a Passport for Fascism

    Francesco Buscemi


    9. Football, Cinema and Spanish Nationalism: Decoding the Francoist Film Campeones (1943)

    Manuel Garin


    10. Cricket, Film and British National Identity: On a Sticky Wicket?

    Stephen Glynn


    Part III: Beyond Hollywood and Europe


    11. Netball and National Identity in Aotearoa New Zealand Cinema Newsreels 1930-1959: ‘There’s a new life in the sporting world’

    Margaret Henley


    12. Football, National Culture and Politics in Brazil in 1970: O ano em que meus pais saíram de férias (The year my parents went on vacation)

    André Mendes Capraro and Pauline Peixoto Iglesias Vargas


    13. Contesting Visions of Ethiopia in Two Amharic Sports Films: Between Film Festivals and Local Commercial Cinema

    Michael W. Thomas


    14. Reconstructing Taiwanese National Identity in the Sports Film: Small Nation, Sports, and Cultural Heterogeneity

    Ting-Ying Lin


    Seán Crosson is Leader of the Sport & Exercise Research Group, Co-Director of the MA in Sports Journalism and Communication, and Director of Graduate Research and Teaching in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, National University of Ireland Galway.

    "This book achieves what it sets out to do—help the reader consider and understand
    how sport can be used in film to configure and inform a variety of national cultures. In doing
    so, the book contributes to sociology, anthropology, media, and cultural studies and should
    be of interest to sports historians as well as scholars beyond the sport history field." --
    Andrew Bailey, Northumbria Univerty

    "This is a good collection which succeeds in being appropriately scholarly, utterly readable, and attractively wide ranging." - Garry Whannel, University of Bedfordshire