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Propaganda Films

In the early months of the Occupation, it was discovered that there wasn't enough Japanese propaganda films to fill Malayan screens and therefore heavily censored British and American films were allowed. But soon after, the Department of Propaganda banned these entirely as having undesirable influence on the population.

By 1943, enough propaganda films were produced for general screening. At first, these were strictly educational films extolling the virtues of the Japanese master race and the new world order. Later, mainstream popular Japanese feature films made it on the exhibition circuit as introduction to the Japanese culture.

Ironically, they were also spreading Western culture to a degree. Popular Japanese directors such as Abe Yutaka (who himself worked in Hollywood during pre-war years) integrated Hollywood style filmmaking into his films which were shown during the Occupation. A few of them were even shot in Southeast Asia, using Hollywood techniques. Many of these Japanese films later influenced the style and film making process of Malay films in the late 40s until the 60s.


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