Best Documentary Movies of 1946
Let There Be Light
The final entry in a trilogy of films produced for the U.S. government by John Huston. Some returning combat veterans suffer scars that are more psychological than physical. This film follows patients and staff during their treatment. It deals with what would now be called PTSD, but at the time was categorised as psychoneurosis or shell-shock. Government officials deemed this 1946 film counterproductive to postwar efforts; it was not shown publicly until 1981.
Seeds of Destiny
Oscar winning postwar propaganda film in support of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Strident but poignant, focusing on children. The film surveys the Nazi/Japanese atrocities, post-war devastation and the early relief efforts. This film was responsible for raising over $200,000,000, making it a top moneymaking film.
The Private Life of a Cat
Life of a domestic cat, filmed from a cat’s-eye view. This film was circulated in two versions: a silent version without narration and a somewhat longer sound version with a narration read by filmmaker Alexander Hammid’s then-wife, Maya Deren. Takes place over a period of months as the cat gives birth to a litter of kittens and she cares for them as they grow.
Two weeks after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in August 1945, Indonesian Independence leaders proclaimed â€œIndonesia Merdeka!â€ â€˜Freedom for Indonesiaâ€™ and an end to Dutch colonial rule over the Netherlands East Indies. Internationally renowned Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens, in Australia as Film Commissioner for the Netherlands East Indies government in exile, resigned his position in protest against Dutch policy, which sought to re-impose its colonial rule. In collaboration with Indonesian activists, Chinese, Indian and Australian trade unionists, and local artists and filmmakers, Ivens made Indonesia Calling, a film documenting the crucial role of Australian trade union support in the establishment of the new Republic of Indonesia. Ivensâ€™ film was an activist documentary; it actively contributed to the events it depicted. All those who worked on it became â€˜adversely knownâ€™ to the security services.
Facing Your Danger
Part of Warner Bros.' The Sports Parade series, this short film chronicles the attempt by a group of men to navigate the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to Lake Mead. Led by Norman D. Nevills, nine men undertake a nineteen days trip in three specially built rowboats through the more than 200 rapids, some which run at 30 mph. Along the way, they see the remnants of previous expeditions, including wrecked boats and even a skeleton. They also visit abandoned Pueblo Indian cave dwellings.
Looking at London
A colorful travelogue of London's most historic buildings and the residual damage still left from WWII.
Traffic with the Devil
This "Theater of Life" series short looks at traffic problems in Los Angeles, California, as described and experienced by Sgt. Charles Reineke, a traffic enforcement officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Smart as a Fox
In this short film, a fox cub experiences life in the forest.
Deadline for Action
How left-wing labor unions engaged in political activism to combat corporate influence on the U.S. Congress in the years following World War II.
Land of Promise
Described as a 'film argument' about homes and houses, this film is in three parts showing houses as they were, houses as they are and houses as they might be.