I like to watch documentary, propaganda and training films from the 1920's, 30's and 40's to get a better sense of what life was like before and during the 2nd World War. If you have the time to sort through the crap you'll be rewarded with some reel (see what I did there?) gems.
This post, alas, is about one of the pieces of crap, some kind of propaganda film about China in the late 1930's and how the Japanese were ruining the party.
What caught my attention was the name of the production company. What, exactly, were they guaranteeing? And then there's this frame.
I didn't bother looking up the 'National Board of Review'. I think their job was to make sure nothing of interest was in the films.
You can find it on YouTube if you're feeling masochistic.
1937. Hitler had recently risen to power and would invade Poland in two years. Japan was raging around the Pacific in search of resources unavailable in the tiny island nation. The US was still isolationist but increasingly swinging towards a war footing - something the Japanese were acutely aware of.
An introduction to Japan's war with China can be found here. This movie was apparently an attempt to persuade Americans to support intervention in China against the Japanese invasion.
If you find yourself with a spare hour or two, read a little about the Second Sino-Japanese War keeping in mind the chip on the Chinese's shoulder against the US. Also look at how much China has advanced since the late 1930's. Amazing.
Will you stay awake for the entire 26 minute film?, Well...no guarantees.
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