Activist Refresher: Why We Fight

Frank Capra understood and cherished America, capturing its spirit vividly in the movies he directed, including the iconic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It’s a Wonderful Life. His largest contribution to the nation he loved, however, was a series of seven Why We Fight documentaries made between 1942 and 1945. Each one explained for active duty troops – and the public at large – why America was at war and the broad principles for which it was fighting. Whereas newsreels shown at the time informed the public about the nation’s efforts – the “what and how” – Capra’s films illuminated, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, the “galvanizing and motivating reasons why.”

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