Let There Be Light

2104. LET THERE BE LIGHT (1946-USA), Directed, co-scripted and narrated by JOHN HUSTON. World War II was a good war, fought by good and patriotic Americans. Unlike fictional Vietnam veterans, the G.I.s of World War II were rarely shown to be anything less than psychologically fit. This celebrated and heartrending documentary vividly shows how not all World War II vets remained untouched by their combat experiences, in fact, the viewer is informed at the outset that “about 20 percent of all battle casualties in the American Army during World War II were of a neuropsychiatry nature.” The setting is a military hospital, where a group of troubled G.l.s are being psychologically evaluated and treated. They are described as “human salvage” and “casualties of the spirit,” and the film is especially moving as the various men are observed up close. One cannot walk. Another stutters. A third suffers from amnesia. A fourth constantly and nervously shakes his head, All were raised during peacetime and taught to abhor war, but found themselves thrust into terrible situations where the fulfillment of their duties required them to kill other human beings. ThÇ film was shot by Hollywood legend John Huston using hidden cameras; during the war Huston had served in the Signal Corps and made several government-sponsored documentaries. This was originalty meant to be seen by the general public, however, its content proved to be much too potent and, as such, the film was banned for decades. 58 minutes. Documentary