Good Night, and Good Luck

How the Cold War Context Created New Perspectives: Film and Literature 12th Grade

During the Cold War period, new and heterogeneous ideas and perspectives arose in response to the perplexing, unprecedented dangers and concerns, shaping artists’ understanding of the zeitgeist. Theses competing perspectives found in texts offer differing interpretations of the issues, fears, philosophical notions and ideologies and reveal a holistic view of the time period. In this way, John Le Carre’s novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold subverts the traditional conventions of the spy-fiction genre, exposes the moral hypocrisy of the West. Similarly, Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith highlights the corruption and disillusionment of Soviet-centric view and Western triumphalism. George Clooney’s neo-noir docu-drama Good Night, and Good Luck elucidates how the notions of freedom and control are central to the Cold War context, whereas Accidental Death of an Anarchist, a play by Dario Fo, further expands on how institutions to restrict freedoms due to their own biased perceptions. In looking backwards, such sources demonstrate that the Cold War was marked by moral complications, not by a predictable conflict between good and evil.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold alters audience perceptions of the East and West through its...

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