Analysing the output of the Hungarian Ministry of Interior’s own film studio, which produced educational films between 1955 and 1989, this essay investigates the modes in which the border zone was represented during the decades of state socialism. Considering the vicinity of the border as an area, where ideological confrontations are battled out, the article argues that there is a significant difference between the films produced in the 1950-60s, and those from the mid-1960s onwards. The earlier pieces depict an emotionally charged border zone the defence of which is a social-political duty: father-type superiors teach rookie soldiers about this obligation in coming-of-age stories. However, from the mid-1960s onwards, the films seem to confine themselves to an instrumental mode of persuasion, which presents border protection as a merely technical question. The article briefly ties these shifts to the changing modes in official discourses during the decades of state socialist Hungary.