THEY FILMED THE WAR IN COLOUR: The Pacific War
On December 7, 1941, Japan, allied to the forces of the Hitler-Mussolini Axis, launched its attack on Pearl Harbour. US President Roosevelt reacted immediately and thrust the United States into the war, turning it into a truly global conflict.
American marines, supplied with cameras and colour stock, were to film many events. The day's greatest filmmakers, like John Ford, were enrolled to record, encourage and reassure.
However their oft-censored footage depicts a blend of horror and heroism: kamikazes, marines plagued by unforgiving jungle, the Coral Sea in flames and Guadalcanal littered with corpses, but also, rarely seen images of the deportation of US citizens of Japanese descent, the daily life of Americans during wartime and the discovery of Japanese civilians by Marines on the island of Okinawa.
The Pacific became a vision of hell, from the Philippines to Borneo, India to Papua New-Guinea, a prelude to the atomic apocalypse of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
More than just striking images, this programme follows the chronology of the conflict as it was played out far from the old continent of Europe and highlights the clash of two cultures unable to understand each other.