The status of Kosovo had been raised as an international issue at the time of the Bosnian war, but Western interest in Kosovo increased from late 1997. This chapter focuses on Operation Allied Force, the Nato air campaign against Yugoslavia from 24 March to 10 June 1999. The fact that Nato intervention meant interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state was not perceived as a major problem by most press commentators. The Guardian's Ian Black noted that 'since the end of the cold war, the case for humanitarian intervention inside sovereign states has gained ground in 1991'. Nato's intervention was in response to the conflict in the Serbian province of Kosovo and was triggered by the Yugoslav government's failure to sign a peace agreement with representatives of Kosovo's ethnic-Albanian majority. Critics have accused mainstream Western media of acting as propaganda mouthpieces for Nato during the Kosovo campaign.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers memory as a specific framework for the study of popular film, intervening in growing debates about the status and function of memory in cultural life and discourse. It examines the relationship between official and popular history and the constitution of memory narratives in and around the production and consumption of American cinema. The book explores the political stakes of cinematic discourse in its production of national memory. It also examines the discursive and institutional apparatus that has come to support the memory of Classic Hollywood in British cultural life. The book also considers both the presence of music and colour in nostalgia films of the 1990s and the impact of digital and video technologies on the representational determinants of mediated memory.