I think documentaries are a terrific way of looking at history, and while they aren't really considered to be a "classic film" do have their place in the industry.
The most recent documentaries that we are adding to Classic Cinema Online is the Why We Fight series, which were directed by Frank Capra and Anatole Litvak. This series was commissioned by the US Government and released during the WWII era. WWII came to a close in 1945, this series began in 1942 and the first chapters released was in 1943.
The series has seven parts:
1. Prelude To War
2. The Nazis Strike
3. Divide and Conquer
4. The Battle of Britain
5. The Battle of Russia (Part I & Part II)
6. The Battle of China
7. War Comes To America
I can't help but wonder what role the release of these documentaries played in the general unification and cooperation of US Citizens towards the war effort, as we just don't see that kind of support today.
When viewing these documentaries, one can see some of the many parallels of then to now. Some of the power and control issues that were being expressed in those days appear to be happening again today, only the faces and countries have changed. Could it be that we're headed for another WWII, only worse?
Certainly something to think about.
Still to come as part of our classic war documentaries series are The Battle of Midway, The Fighting Lady, Report from the Aleutians, and The Memphis Belle.