Why We Fight - Frank Capra's award winning series

Watch Why We Fight - Frank Capra's award winning series

  • 2016
  • 1 Season

Frank Capra's award-winning series "Why We Fight" is a compelling and informative documentary series highlighting the underlying reasons behind America's involvement in World War II. The series features seven episodes that delve into the various motivations behind America's entry into the war, including the attack on Pearl Harbor and the rise of totalitarian regimes in Europe and Asia.

The series is a masterful blend of historical footage, expert analysis, and Capra's own cinematic storytelling prowess. Capra was an accomplished filmmaker, known for such classics as "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and his skilled use of film as a medium for education and propaganda is on full display in "Why We Fight."

Each episode of the series explores a different aspect of the war and its causes, from the rise of Nazism in Germany to Japan's imperial ambitions in Asia. Capra's expert use of archival footage and interviews with historians and experts give the series an authoritative feel, while his dramatic flourishes and emotional narrative arc keep viewers engaged and invested in the story.

One of the key themes of the series is the idea of the "good war," and the moral justifications for America's involvement in the conflict. Capra argues that the war was not simply a matter of self-interest or geopolitical strategy, but a struggle between the forces of freedom and democracy on the one hand, and totalitarianism and fascism on the other.

Capra's use of film to make this argument is nothing short of masterful. He expertly weaves together historical footage from the war with expert analysis and interviews with veterans and military leaders to create a compelling and emotionally resonant narrative. The result is a series that is both informative and moving, providing viewers with a nuanced understanding of the war and its causes.

One of the standout episodes of the series is "The Battle of Britain," which chronicles the famous air campaign waged by the Royal Air Force against Nazi Germany in 1940. Capra's use of footage from the campaign is nothing short of breathtaking, and his interviews with RAF pilots and commanders provide a vivid sense of what it was like to fight in the skies over England.

Other episodes of the series focus on topics like the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, and the role of industrial production in the war effort. Throughout the series, Capra underscores the importance of the conflict and the sacrifices made by American soldiers and civilians alike.

Overall, "Why We Fight" is a masterful achievement in the realm of documentary filmmaking. Capra's expert use of film as a medium for education and persuasion is on full display, and his ability to blend historical footage, expert analysis, and emotional narrative into a coherent whole is nothing short of breathtaking. For anyone interested in the history of World War II, or the use of film as a tool for education and propaganda, "Why We Fight" is an essential viewing experience.

Why We Fight - Frank Capra's award winning series
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The Battle of China
7. The Battle of China
We learn about the country of China and its people. With a brief history of the country, we also learn of why the Japanese wanted to conquer it and felt confident about succeeding. Finally, the history of the war in that theatre is illustrated and shows the stiff determination of the Chinese who use all their resources to oppose Japanese aggression to the end.
Divide and Conquer
6. Divide and Conquer
"Divide and Conquer" begins with Britain and France's declaration of war on Germany after Hitler's invasion of Poland. The film covers the Nazi capture of Denmark and Norway, steps necessary to mount a future attack on Britain, then describes in detail Hitler's strategy as he conquers Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Special attention is paid to Nazi atrocities.
Prelude to War
5. Prelude to War
The official World War II US Government film statement defining the various enemies of the Allies and why they must be fought. This famous propaganda piece, used as a U.S. Army training film in WWII before theatrical release, asks 'why we fight.' The answer compares the 'free' and 'slave' worlds. Walter Huston narrates a combination of archival footage, maps, and other graphics.
The Nazis Strike  
4. The Nazis Strike  
"The Nazis Strike," Chapter II of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, summarizes Adolph Hitler's plan for world conquest and Germany's full scale preparation in pursuit of this end. While the Nazis plead poverty and pacifism, they spend incredible amounts of money to prepare a war machine of unparalleled strength and destructive capability.
War Comes to America
3. War Comes to America
In this final installment of the "Why We Fight" propaganda series, the subject focuses on the United States of America. We learn of its good qualities and the things worth fighting for. With that established, we learn of the history of the United States' population shifting opinion towards siding with the Allies against the Axis until the attack on Pearl Harbour which brought America into full sca
The Battle of Russia
2. The Battle of Russia
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 fightin
The Battle of Britian
1. The Battle of Britian
In this installment of the "Why We Fight" propaganda film series, we have the account of Great Britain's last stand against the forces of Nazi Germany. This mainly focuses on the desperate, but successful, battle to maintain their vital air superiority over the British Isles and the morale of the people to prevent invasion.
  • Premiere Date
    August 31, 2016