Journal Article

"Vietnam in transmission: Documentary film and solidarity programming in Swedish broadcasting culture (1967-72)"



A case study on the Swedish and transnational context of film, media activism and public broadcasting culture in the late 1960s and 1970s, this essay suggests a reassessment of the ‘solidarity film’ as a TV genre in the era of the Vietnam War. In 1969/70, in the two public channels of the Swedish television, the anti-war narrative would typically appear as a compilation of activist footage in obvious sympathy with the Vietnamese National Liberation Front, or as the reporter’s first person impressions of the traces of war and everyday life in North Vietnamese villages. The activist material of the former, and the subjective perspective of the latter, provoked a heated media debate in Sweden where journalists contested the simplistic and naïve feature of ‘documentary’ narratives, where activists deplored the cautious position of public TV producers, and where program material was commonly banned as either politically biased or visually offensive to the TV audience. Images of protest and a Swedish production history of ‘solidarity programming’ will illuminate the paradoxical interrelations between the Vietnam movement and the negotiation of radical content in public television, particularly during the years of 1967-1972.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, Vol 7, Issue 1.
  • Pages:
  • Published:
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  • DOI:

About the Author

Malin Wahlberg

Dr. Malin Wahlberg is a Professor in Cinema Studies at the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. Wahlberg received her PhD at Stockholm University in 2003 and have since then published work in the fields of classical film theory, do... Read more


Wahlberg, M. (2017). "Vietnam in transmission: Documentary film and solidarity programming in Swedish broadcasting culture (1967-72)". Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, 7(1), pp. 43-64. doi: 10.1386/jsca.7.1.43_1.