Phenomenon of Political Biopic in the English-Language Cinema

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The English-language historical and biographical films are booming currently. Every year large number of biopics appears on the screen. Films devoted to political figures' biographies rank special place among them. The author treats American and British traditions of political biopic, examines their origins, singles out evolution stages of biographical genre in the English-language cinema as well as political biopic's characteristics. The article also contains the brief overview of Western scholarly literature devoted to historical and biographical genres in cinema. Main conclusions: Political biopic is a special phenomenon in the English-language cinema. Its origins are rooted in the traditions of Western historiography and literature, basing on corresponding traditions of antiquity. Political biopic always attracts different filmmakers' attention and enjoys great popularity of the audience as providing fascinating world art plots, that is outstanding individual's biographical path. The success of such films can be also explained by the fact that for the majority of spectators the interest to the past is realized primarily on the level of historical personalities, since common knowledge of the past is by and large personified in connection to individual historical figures. American and British traditions of political biopic share the same general framework, and differences can be reduced to the choice of biographical material and stylistic peculiarities of narration.

Morozova Irina Victorovna

MA in Linguistics (MSU). Leading translator (Laboratory of the Foreign Cinema, VGIK), lecturer (Russian and Foreign Languages Department, VGIK), post-graduate student (Aesthetics, History and Theory of Culture Department, VGIK).


Author for correspondence.


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Copyright (c) 2014 Morozova I.V.

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