Prelude to War
(Frank Capra, US 1942, 51 min., 16mm)
The Nazis Strike
(Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak, US 1943, 40 min., 16mm)
Divide and Conquer
(Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak, US 1943, 56 min., 16mm)
Capra. Frank Capra was one of the many Hollywood luminaries who felt it was their duty to enlist as soon as the United States officially entered World War II. As one of the most celebrated Hollywood filmmakers at that time, and already in his mid-forties, he was spared the front lines and assigned directly to US Army Chief of Staff George Marshall. It was Marshall’s idea for Capra to produce and direct a series of documentary propaganda films that would clearly explain to both the public and soldiers why US involvement in the war was absolutely necessary, as well as the values the United States and its allies were defending. The first three parts of the series known as Why We Fight explained the global geopolitical situation that led to World War II and covered the first military conquests of Nazi Germany. Prelude to War won an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1942.