Between the two world wars, a distinct and vibrant film culture emerged in Europe. Film festivals and schools were established; film theory and history was written that took cinema seriously as an art form; and critical writing that created the film canon flourished. This scene was decidedly transnational and creative, overcoming traditional boundaries between theory and practice, and between national and linguistic borders. This new European film culture established film as a valid form of social expression, as an art form, and as a political force to be reckoned with. By examining the extraordinarily rich and creative uses of cinema in the interwar period, we can examine the roots of film culture as we know it today.