In this installment of the "Why We Fight" propaganda series, we learn about the events on the Russian front of World War II. We learn about Russia's heroic resistance to invasion in the past and how those qualities were called upon in the current war. We also learn about Russian tenacity and their determination to win against the seemingly invincible forces of Nazi Germany in the bloodiest fighting of the war.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
In the year 2000, the United States Library of Congress mandated that this film (and the other six documentaries in the 'Why We Fight' series)were "culturally significant" and selected them for preservation in the National Film Registry. See more »
A version exists where the film is divided into two parts because of its length. There are extra titles to explain this division, and a short recapitulation of Part I is found at the beginning of Part II. See more »
This is the fifth of seven films in the "Why We Fight" series that was directed by Frank Capra. These pictures are documentaries as well as propaganda...with a strong emphasis on propaganda in order to bolster support for the war effort. Of the seven films, perhaps "The Battle of Russia" is the one which emphases propaganda much more than facts. Using selective information, the film makes a strong message--our friends, the Russians, are plucky and will NOT roll over for the invading Germans...and they need our help. To make message, the film strongly emphasizes some facts while ignoring the many bad things about Stalinist Russia...such as repression, the Russia-Germany non-aggression pact and Stalin himself. This isn't too surprising, as Hollywood did an about face with Russia during the war. While pre- war films, such as "Comrad X", made fun of the Soviets and mocked their system, now that they were allies in the war, a new and ridiculously idealistic view of the USSR made its way into movies such as "The North Star". After all...they were now the American's new strange bedfellow. And, it's because of the combinations of truths and many half truths and omissions that the film is only fair despite its strong message.
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