Films Made During World War II

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Films made during World War II provide a unique insight into the relationship between film and society. Frank Capra’s Why We Fight series, produced from 1942 to 1945, emphasises the use of film by government for the purpose of propaganda. The representations of war within similar texts promote an incomplete understanding of popular conceptions of life during the period. Consequently, the issues with this film as a historical source stress the overt influence of the director, and by extension, the government. This underlying intent behind the film is seen through the distinct purpose of propaganda strategy. The purpose-based production highlights the reciprocal relationship concerning popular conceptions of the war between society and film. Accordingly, study of these texts demonstrates how the ability of film to foster social cohesion in war complements its function as a shared cultural event. Films made during this period display some aspects of popular conceptions of life at war, despite their limitations as a historical source. For example, the simultaneous position of Why We Fight as propaganda and documentary gives insight into groups that accept or endorse its information. Notably, Capra’s series is “correctly described” as the centrepiece of the United States troop indoctrination programme, due to its reported success and distortion of fact. This combination reveals the overlap between the utilisation of film in this period as a source of both entertainment and
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