Best Documentary Movies of 1945
Nazi Concentration Camps
Produced and presented as evidence at the Nuremberg war crimes trial of Hermann Göring and twenty other Nazi leaders, this film consists primarily of dead and surviving prisoners and of facilities used to kill and torture during the World War II.
This documentary movie is about the battle of San Pietro, a small village in Italy. Over 1,100 US soldiers were killed while trying to take this location, that blocked the way for the Allied forces from the Germans.
A Study in Choreography for Camera
Maya Deren’s shortest, two-minute A Study in Choreography for Camera seems like an exercise piece to capture a dancer’s movement on celluloid, which later on developed into her masterpieces such as Ritual in Transfigured Time and Meditation on Violence.
The Ship That Wouldn't Die!
This short film focuses on the USS Franklin, an aircraft carrier that in March 1945 suffered heavy bombing damages and a massive toll on servicemen before returning to the U.S.
Originally made with a German soundtrack for screening in occupied Germany and Austria, this film was the first documentary to show what the Allies found when they liberated the Nazi extermination camps: the survivors, the conditions, and the evidence of mass murder. The film includes accounts of the economic aspects of the camps' operation, the interrogation of captured camp personnel, and the enforced visits of the inhabitants of neighboring towns, who, along with the rest of their compatriots, are blamed for complicity in the Nazi crimes - one of the few such condemnations in the Allied war records.
A Diary for Timothy
This brief documentary-style film presents the status of Great Britain near the end of the Second World War by means of a visual diary for a baby boy born in September, 1944. Narration explains to "Timothy" what his family, his neighbors, and his fellow citizens are going through as the war nears its end, and what problems may remain for new Englishmen like Timothy to solve.
Why We Fight: War Comes to America
Part VII of the "Why We Fight" series of wartime documentaries. This entry attempts to describe the factors leading up to America's entry into the Second World War.
To the Shores of Iwo Jima
Documentary short film depicting the American assault on the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima and the massive battle that raged on that key island in the Allied advance on Japan. Four cameramen died bringing this footage to the public
The silent 16 mm footage that makes up "V-E +1" documents the burial of beaten and emaciated Holocaust victims found by Allied forces in the Nazi concentration camp at Falkenau, Czechoslovakia, as World War II ended in Europe.
Here Is Germany
A "know-your-enemy" propaganda film similar to "Know Your Enemy: Japan" and "My Japan", films about Japan with the same objective. It contains a history of the prelude to WW II, the death camps and other Nazi war crimes, and commentary on the character of the German people. Directed by Frank Capra, this film is in essentially the same format as his "Why We Fight" series. It was intended to be shown to American troops participating in the invasion and occupation of Germany. But by the time it was ready, events had overtaken it -- Germany was already well on its way to falling -- so the film was shelved. Although it is readily available for public-domain viewing on the Internet, it has never been widely distributed or shown.