Title

Civil Servants on the Silver Screen: The Depiction of Government in American and Australian Cinema

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2014

Publication Source

International Journal of Public Administration

Abstract

With the prevalence of government, it is unsurprising to find it frequently represented on the silver screen. But, with the ability of film to influence perceptions and attitudes, questions arise, including: how is government portrayed on the silver screen? Are government bureaucrats berated or praised? This research examines the representation of government—and civil servants in particular—in a comparative setting. The top 100 box office grossing films of all time in the United States and Australia were selected to address the question: how do these films in the United States and Australia depict government? This study analyzes these 200 films and the more than 400 government characters in these films and suggests that government in both American and Australian films does not fare well. However, despite the generally negative—or at best mixed—depictions of government overall, individual government characters fare better.

Inclusive pages

141-154

ISBN/ISSN

0190-0692

Volume

37

Issue

3

Peer Reviewed

yes