This series' focus is primarily on the propaganda angle of World War Two. Inevitably, parallels of what has been happening in the world, and particularly in the USA for the last fifteen or so years leap to mind.
The gearing up to war, the creation of scapegoats in the media to promote someone's political agenda. The cult of public image of political figures. It is sad, knowing what we know, that we are still falling for the same old shams.
The information presented by this series is not new, a lot has been written or said in different venues about how Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and the Togo government in Japan manipulated or controlled mass media in order to seize and then keep power.
I am into the second episode (of six) of this series. Hopefully as it goes on, the series will bring to light the Allies attempts at propaganda as well as the Axis'.
Of late we have seen a new spat of high quality documentaries and fictional movies on World War Two that, given our media culture are shifting our point of view and perspective about those terrible days.
We are witnessing the passing of living witnesses to the events and we are seeing a new, very savvy generation of documentary film makers sifting through the massive and comprehensive record they have left behind. This has produced films about war correspondents ("Shooting War") or a rumination on the images themselves ("Canada's War In Color") as well as documentaries that try to breathe new life to well known images through restoration and new digital technologies ("Apocalypse: World War Two").
Just as in fiction, "Saving Private Ryan", "Band of Brothers", "The Pacific" and other movies are stripping away the image we inherited from a heavily self-censored Hollywood to show a darker more realistic view of the "greatest generation", historians are seeing new subtext in the old records.
This is a very appropriate addition to the corpus of 21st century documentaries about the first half of the twentieth century.
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