chapter  9
8 Pages

The fortunes of film music in the hard times of the War.

When the war broke out the cinema, which was considered the most important means of mass the ideological influence upon the people, was reorganized in accordance with war conditions. Hundreds of cinema teams went out to the front, and as early as the summer of 1941 their war reports were run in the Soviet cinemas. At the same time, the issue of operative Battle Film Collections (BFC) was begun by the central film studios. As a rule, the Battle Film Collections (Boyevoi Kinosbornik) consisted of several short films, including newsreels and also features such as cartoons, sketches, dramatic short stories; their task was to glorify the greatness and moral superiority of the defenders of the country, and to expose the brutal cruelty, perfidy and moral worthlessness of the fascists. The characters in the Battle Film Collections were often those of such popular pre-war films as Volga-Volga (the letter-carrier Strelka, acted by Lubov' Orlova), the film trilogy about Maxim (the never-say-die young worker Maxim, played by Boris Chirkov). They appeared on the screen, together with their songs which Soviet cinema-goers loved so much ('The March of the Merry Fellows' and the song 'Whirling and turning is a blue balloon'); however, these songs now had a new text infused with passionate patriotic pathos.