Why We Fight: The Battle Of Russia

1963. WHY WE FIGHT #5: THE BATTLE OF RUSSIA 0944-USA). Directed AND co-scripted by ANATOLE LITVAK. Produced by FRANK CAPRA. This exceptional series entry is a two-part feature which combines documentary footage and reenactments. It offers a history of Russia and its people, who are depicted as being collectively heroic in their fight against the Nazi tyrant. As far back as the 13th-century, the time of Alexander Nevsky, German invaders had attempted to enslave the Russian nation. Seven centuries later, the Soviets were again forced to grapple to the death against the same enemy which had invaded their homeland, overrunning city after city and marching all the way to the thresholds of Moscow and Stalingrad. Much of the documentary footage was shot by Soviet newsreel cameramen, while still more was capturcd from the Nazis; as you watch it, you really get a sense of the bone-chilling suffering endured by the Russian people. The film is so brilliantly made, and offers such a positive portrait of its subject, that it was widely screened and admired in Russia. In retrospect, the film’s content seems more than ironic. In just a few years after it was made, during the McCarthyist post-war era, any American filmmaker who had ever presented a positive image of Russia-even during wartime, when Russia and America were alliesÑwould find himself branded a communist sympathizer and facing the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. Such was the plight of Frank Capra. In fact, during the 1950s, the film was withdrawn from circulation because its depiction of the Russian people no longer jibed with Cold War policy. 83 minutes. Documentary