Retrospective 2014

Torpedo Squadron 8

John Ford
USA 1942
8 min

In the documentary films about WWII the active Navy officer Ford tries - in addition to the realistic depiction of fighting - to give a face to war-related events. The focus is placed on the soldiers who risk and lose their lives and on their families who are grieving at home, but which at the same time keep up with pride and patriotism. In a particular and typical way Ford's anti-enemy propaganda recognizes with compassion the needs of the american japanese population on Hawaii beyond racist agitation, for example in DECEMBER 7TH. Apart from passages about the use of napalm - that are quite unbearable nowadays - the subject of the propagandistic movie THIS IS KOREA! isn't military heroism but hardship, suffering and victims of everyday war. According to Ford the heroism of the common soldiers lies in duty and stoic «fulfillment» of a mission, which at the end answers the question «What’s it all about?» with patriotic pathos: The preservation of the future, of life, of freedom.

The United States Navy
16 mm
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