Films about the Age of Second World War

This collection provides information on selected movies, TV productions and documentaries on the themes of gender, military and war in the period covered by the Oxford Handbook.

The most important wars for this period include:

  • Cold War (1946–91)
  • Arab-Israeli Conflicts (1947ff)
  • War of Indonesian Independence (1945–49)
  • Korean War (1950–53)
  • African Wars for Independence (1952ff)
  • Algerian War (1954–62)
  • Indochina Wars (1946–79)

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Director(s): Hughes, Nick
Year of Publication: 2001

An account of the 100-day Rwandan genocide, as experienced by a young Tutsi girl. Josette seeks refuge in the Catholic Church, only to find another form of horror there. The departure of UN peacekeepers further makes the area unstable and Josette...

Director(s): Adi, Yasmina
Year of Publication: 2011

On the call of the revolutionary National Liberation Front (FLN), thousands of Algerians marched in Paris, on October 17, 1961, to protest France's war effort in Algeria, despite the curfew imposed by the government. The police responded with...

Director(s): Thompson, Ernest
Year of Publication: 1988

1969 presents two young men radicalized by the Vietnam War. After Scott's brother dies while fighting, he and his friend Ralph launch a plan to steal their files from the local draft board. Scott escapes arrest and travels to Canada...

Director(s): Graham, William A.
Year of Publication: 1976

A made-for-television drama of the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics. Black September, a Palestinian terrorist group, took 11 Israeli athletes hostage. All surviving hostages were then killed by the group or the police during a failed rescue...

Director(s): Binisti, Thierry
Year of Publication: 2013

Two adolescents form a connection despite the conflicts in Israel/Palestine. Tal, recent French immigrant, struggles with comprehending the violence engulfing Jerusalem. After a bombing, she tosses a bottle into the sea filled with questions for...

Director(s): Palcy, Euzhan
Year of Publication: 1989

A white middle class South African suburbanite with no interest in politics agrees to help his black gardener find his jailed son. His investigation opens his eyes to the horrors committed by the secret police and turns him into a target. [IMBd...

Director(s): Wargnier, Régis
Year of Publication: 1995

In this melodramatic tragedy, director Régis Wargnier explores the emotional costs of war on a French woman. Shortly after Jeanne marries Louis, he leaves for war. She channels her sadness and anger into a series of affairs that span from World...

Director(s): Mann, Delbert
Year of Publication: 1963

In Cold War America, Air Force Colonel Jim Caldwell shapes up his Strategic Air Command B-52 wing to pass a nuclear war readiness test. His commitment to work causes tensions in his personal life.  

Director(s): Wajda, Andrzej
Year of Publication: 1955

A seminal work in Polish New Wave cinema, director Andrzej Wajda fashions a devastating anti-war film about the lost generation of World War II. After experiencing a life of deprivation and German occupation, Stach becomes radicalized through the...

Director(s): Haroun, Mahamat-Saleh
Year of Publication: 2011

A man's ego supersedes his roles as father, husband, and breadwinner in the chaos of the modern day civil war in Chad. A former champion swimmer holds a respectable job as pool attendant when management replaces him with his son. He sends his son...

Director(s): Portman, Natalie
Year of Publication: 2015

Based on the memoirs of Amos Oz, this film explores the last years of British-mandated Palestine and the creation of Israel from the perspective of a child. His family begins to fall apart after the Arab-Israeli War when his father enlists and...

Director(s): Gerima, Haile
Year of Publication: 1999

The Battle of Adwa and Ethiopia's independence in the era of European colonization still inspires the nation's peoples today. This documentary interviews historians, elders, priests, poets, and singers to show how that battle shaped Ethiopian...

Director(s): Amine Rashidi
Year of Publication: 2003

This French and Arabic biographical documentary (with English subtitles), directed by Amin Rashidi, explores the life and work of Louisette Ighilahriz (b. 1936), an Algerian writer and a former member of the Front de Libération Nationale...

Director(s): Parminder Vir
Year of Publication: 1992

Director Parminder Vir explores in this documentary the life situation of different generations of women in Algeria and their changing experiences during and after the Algerian War of Liberation (1954–62). The first generation of interviewed...

Director(s): Rugeles, José Luis
Year of Publication: 2015

Alias María brings attention to child soldiers in Columbia's ongoing civil war. Maria must bring a commander's newborn child to safety while avoiding detection by government-backed paramilitary troops. On her journey, she discovers that...

Director(s): Achkar, David
Year of Publication: 1992

Through home movies, old newsreels, letters and fictional reconstruction of imprisonment, this film examines the life of the filmmaker's father, Marof Achkar, a diplomat under the Sékou Touré regime, who later disappeared into the Guinean gulag....

Director(s): Francis Ford Coppola
Year of Publication: 1979

Considered to be one of the greatest American war films ever made, Apocalypse Now is an epic war movie loosely based off the 1899 novella, Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (with the location switched from the Congo to Vietnam...

Director(s): Affleck, Ben
Year of Publication: 2012

On November 4, 1979, militant Iranian activists storm the American embassy in Tehran and capture dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal. There's a little-known footnote to the crisis: six Americans escaped and a mid-level CIA...