Going to War, 1939-45: Film, History and the Second World War

A conference hosted by the Institute of Historical Research and the Imperial War Museum, 22-23 October 2010

The Second World War remains the most filmed historical phenomenon of modern times. Neither cinemagoers nor film producers seem to tire of epic battles at sea, on land and in the air, heroic POW adventures, and dramas set on the Home Front. The world at war at mid-century is a defining moment in our modernity, and film has become one of the main media through which we locate ourselves in relation to the recent past. But the Second World War was also the heyday of cinemagoing in societies throughout Europe and North America, and the war itself brought about major changes in the technologies and uses of film, from the amateur camera to the official government newsreel and short. So the role of film in war needs to sit alongside our understanding of the representation of war in film. With this aim in mind the latest IHR Winter Conference has assembled a distinguished cast of film directors and film historians to discuss, debate and view the war on screen.

View the full programme online

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