I encourage you to think about including documentary in your class. They
are worthy of the attention in and of themselves. Also, because of their
expository character, they can also provide a better sense of the attitudes
underlying many of the feature films. The distribution branch of the
National Archives has 16mm prints and many videos of the most famous films:
National Audio-visual Center, General Services Administration, Wash. DC,
Phone: 202-763-1896. So many of the documentaries from WWII are in the
public domain that you can find many of the more well known films from many
distributors....and on video.
Warning, brazen plug follows: You might want to look at a new book we have
just published: _Japan/America Film Wars: WWII Propaganda and Its
Cultural Contexts_, ed. by Abe Mark Nornes and Fukushima Yukio (Langhorne,
Penn: Harwood, 1994). This has articles by American and Japanese critics
about stereotype, violence and the relationship of film and warfare. There
are many essays on individual films in the back of the book. The book
plays American and Japanese perspectives (of WWII films and criticism and
of contemporary critics) off each other.
We have included sources for all the films and videos mentioned in the
book. The videos include important work by Asian-Americans on stereotype
and the concentration camps for Japanese Americans. Videos that
particularly stand out are Rea Tajiri's _History and Memory_ and Valerie
Soe's......uh-uh. I've forgotten the title. Does anyone know? It's a
great tape that puts Hollywood images of Asian women into a long montage.