Movies that define hope after tragedy .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - The Marshall Plan films, devised to promote support given to Europeans by the United States after World War II are seen by producer Sandra Schulberg, who visited Istanbul, as shedding an optimistic light on the current global crisis.

Films produced as part of the Marshall Plan after World War II help shed an optimistic light on current global problems, said renowned producer Sandra Schulberg, who screened the films as part of her "Selling Democracy" tour at the Bosphorus University in Istanbul last week.

The Marshall Plan, which takes its name from George C. Marshall the U.S secretary of state at the time, was a program launched by the United States to support Europeans in their recovery after World War II. The Marshall Plan, part of the European Recovery Program, or ERP, has been the most ambitious and profound economic development initiative ever undertaken by a government outside its national borders, according to Schulberg. The cleverness of the plan, said Schulberg, lay not in the sending of money, but in shipping tangible goods such as fuel, fertilizer, food, farm animals and machinery; essential for life and for economic recovery.

Today the U.S. government is engaged in another effort to sell democracy and another recovery program, this time in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the Middle East, said Schulberg. The aim of Schulberg’s Selling Democracy tour is to give people a better understanding of what the Marshall Plan was all about. Schulberg, daughter of the late Stuart Schulberg who was the chief of the Marshall Plan Motion Picture Section, believes the films play an important role in understanding how the Marshall Plan shaped post-war Europe and that there is much to learn from the plan today.

Publicizing lost films
"For the past two years, I have been on a mission to publicize the lost films of the Marshall Plan because they illumine every facet of its grand design. As we look at the wars going on around the world, I believe we have much to learn from the films," Schulberg said.

The films promote the importance of embracing interdependence at difficult times and actively cooperating with each other to overcome language, cultural and currency differences. Marshall’s optimistic philosophy, which was to create a family of nations, is as significant now as it was then, said Schulberg. The tour features 25 extremely rare Marshall Plan films produced to promote U.S. assistance to Europe. They range from documentaries to fiction. The films embody the "can-do" spirit of the Marshall planners and cover many of the assistance schemes that were put into place.

Schulberg showed a ***** "Marshall Plan at Work in Turkey," at the Bosphorus University screening last week. The film investigates how the Marshall plan helped Turkey to modernise industries and agriculture. Money was invested in modern machinery, agricultural colleges were opened in order to teach modern methods, better watering systems and dams were built, and roads were resurfaced. All this was aimed at increasing the country's productivity and improving standards of life for Turkish people, the underlying message of the film.

Students were surprised by the ***** some commented they had not known the effects the Marshall Plan had on Turkey and were grateful for the insight the film gave. In order to raise further awareness of the Marshall Plan and its impact on European countries, Sandra Schelburg is currently working to restore more of the 300 Marshall Plan films which are in circulation across the world, and include them in her Selling Democracy tour."