Saturday, May 3, 2014

Why we fight (1942-1945) - American propaganda WWII series from director Frank Capra

As we approach the 69th anniversary of the end of World War II, I'd like to share with you my dear visitors, this series of seven documentary films commissioned by the United States government during World War II whose purpose was to show American soldiers the reason for U.S. involvement in the war. Later on, they were also shown to the general U.S. public to persuade them to support American involvement in the war.

But first of all some more information about the whole series and couple of remarks:

1) All of these belong now to public domain now, which means as per Wikipedia entry :

In informal usage, the public domain consists of works that are publicly available; while according to the formal definition, it consists of works that are unavailable for private ownership or are available for public use. As rights are country-based and vary, a work may be subject to rights in one country and not in another. Some rights depend on registrations with a country-by-country basis, and the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, implies public domain status in that country.

2) As of most of public domain movies of pre-1950s, the quality of presented movies varies a lot, but mainly leaves a lot to be desired, although I did my best to find the best copies available. Most of the images are archival, made on the battlefield, a lot of pre-war footage is amateur so overall audio/video experience is not great, but it is interesting to see it and compare from the historical point of view. Expect a lot of noises, scratches, tears and jerks. I've included English subtitles for Chapter 1 "Prelude of War" although they may not be 100 % accurate and synchronized as the subtitles I've found online were of low quality. Some of them have packed bitsream, so may not be viewed on older DVD players.

3) As per IMDB comment: "Obviously, this was made before political correctness existed, and you can tell: there is talk of 'Japs', the Holocaust is largely ignored. Also, the movie is necessarily ambivalent about the Russian role, who were allies at the time. For example, the Molotov-Von Ribbentrop pact (especially the annex about the division of Eastern Europe) goes virtually unmentioned, and the Red Army's reasons for showing up in Eastern Poland are nebulous". Don't forget it is a wartime propaganda, not an actually historically correct movie.

4) Most of the films were directed by Frank Capra, who was daunted yet also impressed and challenged by Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda film Triumph of the Will and worked in direct response to it. The series faced a tough challenge: convincing a recently non-interventionist nation of the need to become involved in the war and ally with the Soviets, among other things. In many of the films, Capra and other directors spliced in Axis powers propaganda footage going back twenty years, and re-contextualized it so it promoted the cause of the Allies.

Why We Fight was edited primarily by William Hornbeck, although some parts were re-enacted "under War Department supervision" if there was no relevant footage available. The animated portions of the films were produced by the Disney studios – with the animated maps following a convention of depicting Axis-occupied territory in black.

Description of films:

* Prelude to war (1942) (51:50, 835 MB) (Academy award as Documentary Feature) – this examines the difference between democratic and fascist states and covers the Japanese conquest of Manchuria and the Italian conquest of Ethiopia. Capra describes it as "presenting a general picture of two worlds; the slave and the free, and the rise of totalitarian militarism from Japan's conquest of Manchuria to Mussolini's conquest of Ethiopia."

Audio and video information:

Video : 653 MB, 1800 Kbps, 25 fps, 720x484 ~> 720x540 (4:3), V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC x264 core 130
Audio : 166 MB, 448 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = AC3, CBR

* The Nazis strike (1943) (40:43, 656 MB) – covers Nazi geopolitics and the conquest of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. Capra's description: "Hitler rises. Imposes Nazi dictatorship on Germany. Goose-steps into Rhineland and Austria. Threatens war unless given Czechoslovakia. Appeasers oblige. Hitler invades Poland. Curtain rises on the tragedy of the century — World War II."

Audio and video information:

Video : 513 MB, 1800 Kbps, 25 fps, 720x484 ~> 720x540 (4:3), V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC x264 core 130
Audio : 130 MB, 448 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = AC3, CBR

* Divide and conquer (1943) (56:26, 806 MB) – about the campaign in Benelux and the Fall of France. Capra's description: "Hitler occupies Denmark and Norway, outflanks Maginot Line, drives British Army into North Sea, forces surrender of France."

Audio and video information:

Video : 713 MB, 1800 Kbps, 25 fps, 720x484 ~> 720x540 (4:3), V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC x264 core 130
Audio : 78 MB, 192 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = AC3, CBR

* The Battle of Britain (1943) (52:28, 749 MB) – depicts Britain's victory against the Luftwaffe. Capra's synopsis: "Showing the gallant and victorious defense of Britain by Royal Air Force, at a time when shattered but unbeaten British were only people fighting Nazis."

Audio and video information:

Video : 662 MB, 1800 Kbps, 25 fps, 720x484 ~> 720x540 (4:3), V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC x264 core 130
Audio : 72 MB, 192 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = AC3, CBR

* The Battle of Russia (1943) (82:30, 1.15 GB) Part I and Part II – shows a history of Russian defense and Russia's battle against Germany. Capra's synopsis: "History of Russia; people, size, resources, wars. Death struggle against Nazi armies at gates of Moscow and Leningrad. At Stalingrad, Nazis are put through meat grinder."

Audio and video information:

Video : 1.04 GB, 1800 Kbps, 25 fps, 720x484 ~> 720x540 (4:3), V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC x264 core 130
Audio : 113 MB, 192 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = AC3, CBR

* The Battle of China (1944) (62:34, 894 MB) – shows Japanese aggression such as the Nanking Massacre and Chinese efforts such as the construction of the Burma Road and the Battle of Changsha. Capra's synopsis: "Japan's warlords commit total effort to conquest of China. Once conquered, Japan would use China's manpower for the conquest of all Asia."

Audio and video information:

Video : 790 MB, 1800 Kbps, 25 fps, 720x484 ~> 720x540 (4:3), V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC x264 core 130
Audio : 86 MB, 192 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = AC3, CBR

* War Comes to America (1945) (65:37, 937 MB) – shows how the pattern of Axis aggression turned the American people against isolationism. Capra's synopsis: "Dealt with who, what, where, why, and how we came to be the U.S.A — the oldest major democratic republic still living under its original constitution. But the heart of the film dealt with the depth and variety of emotions with which Americans reacted to the traumatic events in Europe and Asia. How our convictions slowly changed from total non-involvement to total commitment as we realized that loss of freedom anywhere increased the danger to our own freedom. This last film of the series was, and still is, one of the most graphic visual histories of the United States ever made."

Audio and video information:

Video : 829 MB, 1800 Kbps, 25 fps, 720x484 ~> 720x540 (4:3), V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC x264 core 130
Audio : 90 MB, 192 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = AC3, CBR








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Thursday, May 1, 2014

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Thank you guys for your response on this matter, 2 more months of seedbox have been paid off a few first donations... I will get in touch with donators personally later on the weekend. Feel free to comment...and click "download" button in your Torrent client if you haven't done so yet.. I hate seeing many of the movies not active :)

Hello, my dear visitors :)

It's been quite a long time since I started distributing the movies via Torrent protocol... Probably many of visitors didn't like the idea and are not visiting the blog anymore, but in my humble opinion that was the only way to keep posting the movies in wake of closure and change of terms of main 1-click Webhosters I used to use, like previously very popular Rapidshare or Megaupload.

I know that blog is not very appealing in terms of graphics, layout and amount of materials that still need to be re-uploaded, but without a professional help from skilled webmasters and graphics and without a day changing to at least 48 hours, that is all I can do with current amount of time and resources to my availability.

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