The invasion of Korea cut short the optimistic first phase of the Marshall Plan. During phase two, under the Mutual Security Agency, filmmakers would make more films with anti-Communist themes, stressing the virtues of political unity and military strength. The fear of Communist inroads haunts The Hour of Choice (35mm, 21 minutes), Without Fear (video, 15 minutes), and Struggle for Men’s Minds (video, 27 minutes). Whitsun Holiday (14minutes) is a clever piece of propaganda that mocks the way Eastern Bloc citizens spend their leisure time. In the guise of a Soviet-inspired propaganda film, Do Not Disturb! (16mm, 15 minutes) is pure satire: it makes fun of West Germany and the United States, but the evils of consumerism appear ever so tempting. The Marshall Plan blazed the trail toward European Union, out of a conviction that a European market was the fastest route to recovery and the best bulwark against Communism. But trade barriers were a major obstacle. Here animation came to the rescue. Economics is fun and easy to swallow in The Shoemaker and the Hatter (16mm, 16 minutes), a cartoon parable about the virtues of a common market. Taken together, these films posit a vision of a united Europe, pre-figuring the Common Market and European Union, and demonstrate the extraordinary long-term legacy of the Marshall Plan and its impact on the Europe of today.
Post-screening discussion: Dr. Rembert Hueser, assistant professor of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch; and Dr. Heino Beckmann, honorary consul of the Federal Republic of Germany