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.
Table of Contents
Sport, Film, and National Culture: An Introduction
Part I: Sport, Cinema, and National Culture in the USA
1. Adapting an ‘American’ Football Biopic: Knute Rockne: All American
2. Esther Williams, Americanness, the Aquacade and Sex: ‘A Swirl of Red, White and Blue Flags and Chesty Swimmers with Their Chins Up’
3. Multicultural American Heroes: Reading the Recent Biopics of Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens Through the Lens of American Civil Religion
4. Sports Film and the Reimagining of American Popular Culture: Billie Jean and Tonya
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
7. Soccer, Film, and the Third Reich: Hunters, Cowards, and Glory
8. Primo Carnera, Propaganda and Mussoliniʼs International Legitimisation: The Boxer who was a Passport for Fascism
9. Football, Cinema and Spanish Nationalism: Decoding the Francoist Film Campeones (1943)
10. Cricket, Film and British National Identity: On a Sticky Wicket?
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’
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
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.