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Martin Barnier

Priests voice-over at the time of silent cinema

Le Temps des médias n°17, Automne 2011, p. 45-53.


It is usually believed that the Catholic Church was completely opposed to the cinema. In fact, following the tradition of magic lantern projections, priests use films for the propagation of the faith. The Pope forbid projections in churches after 1912, but in each parish, priests show films to children, and real movie theatres are build by many French parishes, from the 1920s to the 1950s. There were violent discourses against cinema between priests, but a great number of the clergymen were using films, commenting them to their parishioners.

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