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Film

Apocalypse '45 Uses Gloriously Restored Footage to Reveal the Ugliest Side of Our Nature

Erik Nelson's gorgeously restored Pacific War color footage in Apocalypse '45 makes a dramatic backdrop for his revealing interviews with veterans who survived the brutality of "a war without mercy".

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Books

Comedy, Pathos, and Bibliophilia Merge in Jean Giono's Wartime Journal

In addition to its literary significance, Jean Giono's newly translated Occupation Journal is also an important reminder of the value of pacifism in a world where over-eager partisanship is once more merging with the enthusiastic violence of political dogma.

Books

Queer Love and Art in the Time of Nazis: 'Never Anyone But You'

Never Anyone But You is an inspiring tale of surrealists Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, who defied homophobia, Nazis, and gender norms while pushing the boundaries of art and love.

Film

Great Scots: 'Whiskey Galore!' and 'The Maggie'

Two Scottish comedies from Alexander Mackendrick, Whiskey Galore! and The Maggie, were part of Ealing Studios movies meant for a depressed postwar England to "let off steam".

Books

The 43 Group and the Moral Imperative to Fight Fascists

Anti-fascist militants have played an important role in protecting community and democracy. Daniel Sonabend's We Fight Fascists brings light to that battle against fascism in post-war Britain.

Books

For All Governments: Gendry-Kim's Graphic Novel, 'Grass'

The powerful graphic novel Grass documents the atrocities against WWII "comfort women" through the recollections of a survivor. This is an incredibly powerful and urgent work that, frankly, should be read by the governments of all nations that must face, admit to, and begin real reparations for their country's atrocities.

Books

'Horizontal Collaboration' Tackles Sexist Judgements on Women's Lives in War-Time

Horizontal Collaboration, the superb French comic by Navie and Carole Maurel, reassesses the sexist biases of history.

Books

Change Course! George Takei Warns in 'They Called Us Enemy'

In graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy, iconic Star Trek star George Takei draws from his family's experience of Japanese-American internment camps to warn of a potentially dark future.

Books

A Biography Worthy of 'Hiroshima' Author John Hersey

John Hersey covered Hiroshima and America's race riots with empathy, courage, and profound humility. Jeremy Treglown's biography, Mr. Straight Arrow, should bring a new generation of readers to Hersey's work.

Books

Two Fascist Perspectives on WWII: The Colonel's Wife and Deviation

Authors Rosa Liksom and Luce D'Eramo brilliantly convey the seduction and willful disbelief associated with fascism; how one brushes off their misgivings, thinking that it will be different for them.

Books

Nora Krug's 'Belonging' Could Serve as a Model for Understanding Collective Responsibility

In graphic novel Belonging, Nora Krug takes a single idea – her family's involvement in the Second World War and Nazi Germany – and pursues it with relentless, forensic determination.

Books

Tadao Tsuge's 'Slum Wolf' Provides a Dramatic Look at the Persistence of the Disaffected

After the devastating effects of American bombings of Japan during World War II, how do people rebuild themselves and their society? Tadao Tsuge explores these difficulties in Slum Wolf.

Film

War, Racism, and Other Social Spasms in the Newly-Restored 'Strange Victory'

This important post-war film documents its convulsive recent past, ties it into a contemporary scene that we often forget was almost as convulsive and finally, unwittingly, links itself to still roiling convulsions of the film's distant future.

Books

Jason Lutes, Author of 'Berlin', on Drawing War Comics and Resisting Fascism

As we learn in this interview, when Jason Lutes began drawing the Berlin series in the '90s, he had no idea his own country would be facing the threat of fascism, again, by the time he completed it.

Books

'The Seventh Cross' Is a Vital Tale for Anyone Concerned About the Resurgence of Totalitarianism

The beautiful storytelling of Anna Seghers' World War II classic belies its important insights into life under fascism.

Books

Truth or Fiction? 'Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous'

In these times of so-called "fake news", Bonanos' biography of Weegee begs the question: If the truth of human nature is best demonstrated in a prearranged circumstance, does that make it any less true?

Film

Contemplating Obligation in Clouzot's 'Le Corbeau'

When anyone looks in the mirror, Le Courbeau's Vorzet suggests, they see a devil accompanied by an angel. See the premiere of a new 4K restoration with an all-new translation of Le Corbeau at Film Forum NYC 20 April through 1 May.

Books

'Woman at 1,000 Degrees' Sharply Demonstrates Trauma's Deep Roots

Woman at 1,000 Degrees relies on black comedy and tragedy to examine the generation "razed to the ground" by World War II.

Books

Hardly an Accident: Harry S. Truman's 'Accidental Presidency'

A. J. Baime offers his readers an "aw shucks" story of an American Everyman thrust into a position of awesome power and somehow "makin' good".

Books

Craig Larsen's 'The Second Winter' Is not an Easy Read

The Second Winter is an engaging but difficult read featuring characters you'll love to hate.

Books

Double-agents, Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and 'Hitler in Los Angeles'

While America was riveted by the "Red Scare" on the one hand, it failed to see what the other hand, the Nazi threat, was doing.

Books

Democracy Sputters and Nazis Rise to Power in 'Babylon Berlin'

Volker Kutscher and Arne Kysch's graphic novel is a riveting and fun police drama set against the backdrop of a society gone mad.

Film

Indirect Reflections in Claude Autant-Lara's Films During the Nazi Occupation of France

In these Nazi-era escapist films by Claude Autant-Lara, the idea of escape itself and the uncertainties of the fronts we display to others become more complicated than anyone would wish.

Books

The Human Devastation in Auschwitz-Birkenau's Vegetation

Georges Didi-Hubermann's Bark considers the implications of truth in images from living pieces of the Holocaust.

Film

Cary Grant Blu's: 'Operation Petticoat' and 'Father Goose'

The extras in these Olive Films Blu-rays will give you a new appreciation for these films.

Film

Victory Is Never Assured in ‘Darkest Hour’

Joe Wright's sharp and only occasionally sentimental snapshot of Churchill in extremis as the Nazi juggernaut looms serves as a handy political strategy companion piece to the more abstracted combat narrative of Dunkirk.

Politics

Remembering (and Reliving) the Bombing of Hiroshima with Keiji Nakazawa's 'Barefoot Gen'

The seminal manga of Hiroshima's atomic bombing and aftermath, Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen, remains an essential reminder of the horrors of war and atomic bombs.

Reviews

'Allied' and the Tired Fumes of Nostalgia

Despite an appealing cast, Robert Zemeckis' WWII romance relies too heavily on its influences and too little on engaging drama.

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Jean Pierre Melville's 'La silence de la mer' Is the French Resistance in Microcosm

Austere even by Jean-Pierre Melville's later standards, La silence de la mer is a powerful testament to nonviolent resistance.

Reviews

'Into the War' Is Introspective, Poignant, and Moralistic in All the Right Ways

Italo Calvino offers a rarely personal, and deeply insightful, glimpse of the adolescent experience of war with his autobiography, Into the War.

Reviews

If You Tickle Us, Do We Not Laugh?

The Criterion release of Ernst Lubitsch's farcical antidote for Nazism, To Be or Not To Be proves worthy of a masterpiece, with a pristine transfer and extras that illustrate how only he could have done it.

Books

Jáchym Topol Deserves Your Attention

Attacking both state socialism and market capitalism, expressing the rage of those growing up in one system and suddenly under another, the urgency reminded me of Joyce and Pynchon more than Topol's Prague predecessor, Kafka.

Reviews

'A Fierce Radiance': Thank Goodness For Mold

In addition to life-saving mold, which provides a fascinating subject for a very well told historical novel, we also get murder, espionage, family worries, and of course, a little sex and romance

Books

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

The written word can be concealed, delayed, or misdirected. It is the human voice which haunts and lingers.

Reviews

Harlan: In the Shadow of 'Jew Süss'

If it's impossible to measure direct consequences of a film (or any work of art), Felix Moeller's documentary considers the layered and lasting aftermath of Jew Süss.


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