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World War II Re-explored

Some New Millenium Studies in the History of the Global Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples, Stephanie James and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

This volume is a collection of thirty papers written by authors from around the world. The writers focus on topics related to their own research interests. As a result, readers obtain a worldwide perspective on World War II from academics working on nearly every continent, proving that World War II was, probably, the first ever truly global experience for humanity. Present are many and different perspectives on the war. Eighty years after the end of World War II, these academics share their knowledge and reflections about a gruesome, but still not very remote time. In the new millennium, their studies should remind readers that the ‘end of history’ has been an impossible illusion and warn that peace and stability in international relations are not a given.

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Cinema of Change: Evolving Responses to World War II

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in Japan and the United States

Abstract: This study demonstrates that the content of Japanese and American cinema has changed through the years to reflect the political and cultural attitudes of both societies. In the late 1930s and throughout World War II, they were adversaries. And their cinemas reflected distrust, dislike, and fear of each other. Following the war, during the American occupation, both sides withdrew from the subject matter somewhat, the Japanese especially so, while American filmmakers engaged in triumphal productions. With the beginning of the Cold War and the threat of the Soviet Union and Communist China to Japan proper and to American interests in Southeast Asia, both countries and their cinemas were brought together. But with the American defeat and retreat from Southeast Asia, Japan began to stake out a position among its filmmakers that raised the issue of the morality of the victors in the war against Japan. In particular, Japanese cinema began to focus on the atomic bombings and the positioning of itself as a victim of American excess. By the first decade of the twenty-first century, both cinemas seem to have begun to diverge once more. American films are still fighting World War II, but they are tinged with a sense of nostalgia and regret. Japanese films continue to deal with the use of nuclear weapons and their aftermath.

KeyWords: World War II, American cinema, Japanese cinema, film history

Although it is often claimed that film...

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