Buchsbaum, Jonathan. "Toward Victory: Left Film in France, 1930-35." Cinema Journal 25.3 (1986): 22-52.
In this article, Jonathan Buchsbaum engages in a discussion of the Popular Front in 1930s France. He lists the various individual and group involvement with the movement and how it changed over the course of a few years. Buchsbaum discusses the French Community Party and the lax policies that they advocated. This party also placed little restrictions over film and never actively commissioned the production of propaganda films, much unlike similar Soviet parties of the time. He spends some time talking about the dramatic Soviet push for Communist propaganda as well as the influence of Vertov and Eiseinstein on film all over the world but seems to appreciate the French resistance to the dramatically confining policies enforced by the Soviets. Buchsbaum discusses the election of a socialist government in France in 1936 and all of the views and ideals that shifted as a result of this dramatic political change. Buchbaum's article provides a detailed, accurate representation of the social, cultural, political, and economic atmosphere during the time of Renoir's reign of king of film. He also provides a trajectory path for readers to understand what these changes mean to the rest of the world and how it would make an impact for years to come.
Buchsbaum's article provides an excellent history of left film in France prior to Rules of the Game. It also gives a very accurate showing of the political strife and cultural fears present in the 1930s. This discussion of communism and the Red Scare helps in understanding Jean Renoir's influences as well as the public's extremely negative reaction to the film: both result from fear. Buchsbaum explains that it was actually a trend in 1930s French cinema to include political themes in a film. This aspect provides a new, interesting look at Renoir's use of politics in Rules of the Game not previously considered by my other sources: was Renoir's creative Popular Front film actually a mere attempt for commercial success? It is a possibility. Though Buchsbaum goes on to describe an intense, fearful, uncertain political and cultural atmosphere that would have been near impossible for any filmmaker to ignore. This article is pivotal in understanding the political climate as well as previous works that would have greatly inspired Renoir and played a huge role in determining his film's reception.