Images of the Asia-Pacific War in Selected Feature Films (Richard Mason, Rashila Haji Ramli)
Richard Mason Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Rashila Haji Ramli Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Images of the Asia-Pacific War in Selected Feature Films Abstract The Asia-Pacific War, which raged between 1941 through 1945, had offered the film industry many themes to capitalize upon and exploit. This paper is an enquiry into the images of the Japanese-American War in epic war films; how the war was reconstructed in historical memory through the visual medium of feature films, focusing only on the American-Japanese conflict. The themes of the inquiry include the outbreak of the war; the attendant propaganda and the call to arms; selected battles during the course of the war; Japanese attitudes and treatment of their prisoners of war; and the deployment of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 which brought the Asia-Pacific War to an end. If war is an extension of politics by other means, to what extent are war films an extension of the war through other means? Keywords: Images of war, Feature Films, Pacific War, Japan, United States Introduction The Asia-Pacific War, which raged about the same time as World War II in Europe, has often been lumped together with the war in Europe as World War II. The wars in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific were in fact two separate wars, fought not only by different powers but also for different causes. Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany, to be sure, were allies during the war but this had been merely tactical and tenu- ous; otherwise,...
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