Date of Degree
Access restricted until 07/13/2019
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Paula A. Michaels
In the divided atmosphere of the Cold War, East and West competed for the world’s hearts and minds through military standoffs and proxy wars, but more extensively through popular culture. While Cold War tensions generally separated East from West, the USSR maintained unusually friendly ties with France. I seek to understand how France and the Soviet Union reached détente in 1964, a full eight years before the US and other western nations. My research in public and private archives in France and Russia, of the French and Soviet press, and from interviews with key cinema figures reveals a solid base of cultural diplomatic relations that existed before 1964. Cinema in particular proved a useful tool for the French state to rebuild postwar relations with the Soviet Union. The Cannes International Film Festival and another cinema event called the Semaines du cinema led to an influx of film exchange that triggered the formation of a bilateral body in 1957, whose sole purpose was to negotiate cultural trade and exchange, called the Franco-Soviet Permanent Mixed Commission. These festivals and the Commission provided a bilateral framework upon which to build amicable political and diplomatic relationships, which helped ease tensions between France and the USSR and ultimately expedited détente in 1964.
viii, 220 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 210-220).
Copyright © 2017 Faye Bartram