The Battle of Britain
(Frank Capra, Anthony Veiller, US 1943, 51 min., 16mm)
The Battle of Russia
(Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak, US 1943, 76 min., 16mm)
Capra. The fourth and fifth installments in the Why We Fight documentary series move away from Nazi victories that dominated first three parts to show how Germans failed to break Britain and the Soviet Union and had to abandon their invasion attempts. The Battle of Russia was the second in the series to be nominated for an Academy Award and was widely hailed as a masterpiece of documentary cinema upon its release. But even though Capra carefully avoided politics and ideology in his depiction of the Soviet Union, at the time the United States’ most important ally, the film was still fiercely attacked—and it was withdrawn from circulation during the Cold War era.