Any faithful student of the cinematic form will admit that a film can be two-faced. It can wear the movie-screen as a mask, as it were. In a short video-lecture by the philosopher Slavoy Zizek, the latter provides an interesting analysis of The Sound of Music, pointing out such a type of filmic “double-speak.” When we follow the superficial thread of the film’s narrative, claims Zizek, we encounter a good-natured Austrian family living in fear of the rising threat of German fascism. However, a closer look suggests that the film’s true subject is a conservative Arian family fending off a gang of corrupted, cosmopolitan Jews. The Austrians are fair-haired and dressed in traditional garb, whilst the “fascists” are portrayed as black-haired, mustachioed banker types. The same ideology that is seemingly condemned by the film’s content is thus reaffirmed in its very form.

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