2. Oscar’s Docs 1943 – 1948

I never thought I would say I was looking forward to a nature documentary. After all – I like personal journeys, real stories, real life but…

Propaganda war films have never been my bag. Yet attending this Oscar’s Docs series has had me spending 4 Monday nights – long nights – watching documentaries, 4 or 5 at a time, about WWII. Watching the 1947 winner Design for Death got me thinking, what’s the difference between propaganda and plain ole reenactment? Reenactment is better!! Reenactment is trying to be what actually happened. While propaganda is not historically accurate because it uses original material and takes it out of context. Design for Death, says the poster, shows “secret Jap films shown for the first time”. And that’s just the start of the manipulated mess that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary feature in 1947. I know I said it twice, but it really needs to be said twice!

I understand that the doc category was created in 1941 and that’s really what audiences wanted then, information on the war. But now, something about watching these films is draining. It’s really too much to watch 4 in one sitting.

Tonight the series has fit in a panel on nature films. And…oh…am I looking forward to it.

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