The use of films to influence public opinion, nationally or internationally, in favour of a political ideal or government policies. They may include the use of art, television and photographic propaganda, war, racist or religious propaganda, or official and government information, which may be misleading, inaccurate, utopian or moralistic. Film propaganda may sharpen political and international conflict or strengthen government control and dictatorship or lead to apathy, conformism, idealism, hero worship, ignorance, prejudice and alienation. Government industries or commercial production companies may consciously intend to either strengthen national or group solidarity or change or subvert opinion in a hostile or neutral group. These aims are at their strongest in times of war. In combatant countries every effort is made to denigrate the enemy.
Propaganda film came of age during the First World War. Every major power commissioned official films and most ended the war with some kind of government department responsible for co-ordinating film propaganda.