Covert dissent in wartime cinema?

Thu Nov 3 15:48:19 EST 2005


I will throw in my two cents.

First, I am not so sure that film censors are all that on the ball, as Marc 
Ferro has indicated in his book on Film and History and the career of Furumi 
Takuji makes clear.  Censors tend to focus on the script that is handed to 
them and pass for permission based on the written text.  However, it is the 
finished film, with the damning visuals, that gets cut.  Same problem with our 
NEH committees:  they do not know what they are getting from a Ken Burns film 
until they see it, and only then, I guess, do they think to hide their faces 
in shame (pretty pictures, bad history).

Second, if you want to know about the minimal resistance to the war, read 
Ienaga Saburo's Pacific War, 1931-1945--not very encouraging:  the odd 
professor who insisted on his English teatime, a scrawl here or there in a 
public restroom.

If you are really interested in film/protest against the war, I suggest you 
look at the people from the film business who were drafted.  That would give 
any inkling at least as to the production of whose films the government was 
interested in precluding.


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