Private Life, Public Diplomacy: Tibor Hirsch and Documentary Filmmaking for the Cold War Usia

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1 Scopus citations


The United States Information Agency acted as a significant patron of American independent and nontheatrical filmmakers during the 1960s, commissioning short documentaries to carry positive messages about America to foreign audiences. While much of the existing scholarship on the USIA’s motion picture output focuses on works that address major policy issues such as the civil rights movement or that were made by directors who went on to have well-known careers, many of its films and directors have been forgotten. One such filmmaker is Tibor Hirsch, whose past as a refugee from the 1956 Hungarian Revolution influenced his films Transportation USA (1966) and Six Who Fled (1972). Hirsch’s earlier career as a photojournalist informed his work for the USIA, while the style he developed through making government films led directly into his later career as a highly successful television commercial director.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-324
Number of pages28
JournalHistorical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 IAMHIST & Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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