Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Anne Dorfman


Should a film be labeled with the perjorative term "propaganda" simply by virtue of its political subject matter and its being made in a foreign country? The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was originally passed in 1938 as a means of informing the public that certain films and other material had been developed by the Nazi's and other "subversive" organizations. The author explores the recent Justice Department usage of FARA to label three Canadian films "political propaganda." The author concludes that the applicable section of FARA has a chilling effect that violates fundamental first amendment rights.