In this essay I approach the concept of “cult film” in a way that diverges from customary approaches. I will examine not the notion of cultic films or its various forms and mechanisms, but the connection between real, historical cults and their representation in cinema. In other words my use of the concept “cult” is not attached to certain films which are widely considered to have a “cultic status”, but I want to analyze the operations of historical or specifically ideological, political cults and their representations, especially in film, relying on a specific example functioning as a case-study. I hope this case-study may illuminate some deeper movements with reference to the creating of cults, focusing on the relation between cults and culture, especially cults and the historical knowledge of a given culture.
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