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.
Theirs Is the Glory
Re-enactment of World War 2 Battle of Arnhem using the survivors from the battle.
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.
Live footage from concentration camps after the liberation, and the complex transport and lodging of masses of prisoners of war and other deported people back to their home countries, at the end of World War II.
The Way We Live
Drama and documentary are combined in this stylish and ambitious film, in which 3000 local people took part. The film delves into the complexities of rebuilding a city, showing frustrations along the way as well as vivid scenes of family life in trying circumstances.
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.
A Defeated People
A Defeated People is a 1946 British documentary short film made by the Crown Film Unit, directed by Humphrey Jennings and narrated by William Hartnell. The film depicts the shattered state of Germany, both physically and as a society, in the immediate aftermath of World War II. The narration explains what is being done – and what needs to be done – both by the occupying Allied forces and the German people themselves to build a better Germany from the ruins.
Smart as a Fox
In this short film, a fox cub experiences life in the forest.