Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

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WWII Anti-Japanese Propaganda & Hollywood

November 14, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Rob Buscher (University of Pennsylvania)
Beginning with Thomas Edison’s 1898 documentary news reel footage of the Wreck of the Battleship Maine and subsequent coverage of the Spanish-American War, film has played an important role in the way that Americans understand and consume conflict.

As the technology used to produce motion pictures improved and Hollywood became increasingly intertwined with the military industrial complex, economic and cultural conditions of wartime America both necessitated and encouraged through capital gain the integration of anti-Japanese propaganda in major studio films spanning the war years 1942-1945.

This program will provide a brief history of the Hollywood Studio system’s emergence as the hegemonic gatekeeper of American popular media, followed by a guided viewing of anti-Japanese WWII propaganda films. Content is derived from a variety of sources, but this lecture focuses primarily on entertainment based Hollywood films (fictional narratives), documentary news reels and soldier training films produced by the US Military sponsored War Pictures, and cartoons.

Selected clips include:
News Reels and US War Pictures:
The News Parade: Bombing of Pearl Harbor (1941)
Why We Fight: Prelude to War (1942)
Know Your Enemy: Japan (1945)

Popular Films:
Little Tokyo, USA (1942)
Across the Pacific (1942)
Victory Through Air Power (1943)
Air Force (1943)
Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (1944)
Purple Heart (1944)

Ducktators (1942)
Tokio Jokio (1943)
You’re a Sap, Mr. Jap (1943)


November 14, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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12 Gates Art Gallery
106 N 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106 United States
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