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): Thompson, Ernest
Year of Publication: 1988

1969 deals with the Vietnam War and the resulting social tensions between those who support and oppose the war in small-town America. Two rebellious youths, Ralph (Robert Downey Jr.) and Scott (Kiefer Sutherland), find themselves...

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): Mann, Delbert
Year of Publication: 1963

A Gathering of Eagles is a 1963 film about the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War and the pressures of command. The plot is patterned after the World War II film ...

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): Lakhdar-Hamina, Mohammed
Year of Publication: 1975

Winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, this Algerian film, directed by Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, shows how fighting against authoritarianism and fascism during World War II influenced the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62). A...

Director(s): Habash, Ahmad
Year of Publication: 2011

During the 1948 war in Palestine and just one day after a massacre which shocked the world, an old man encounters a young man and a boy running for their lives. The three Palestinians share the common interest of leaving their homeland for a...

Director(s): Chahine, Youssef
Year of Publication: 1972

Banned upon its release in Egypt, Chahine's The Sparrow views the pan-Arab defeat of the Six Day War (June 1967) through the prism of state corruption. On the even of war, a police officer and journalist in an Upper Egypt village...

Director(s): Suleiman, Elia
Year of Publication: 2009

In this semi-autobiographical film based on his father's diaries and his mother's letters, director Elia Suleiman traces the evolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict through a focus on the everyday life of Israeli Arabs. From the creation of...

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): Huynh, Luu
Year of Publication: 2006

The Vietnamese film, The White Silk Dress, won the top prize at the 2007 Golden Kite Awards and was officially selected as that year’s entry from Vietnam for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. The love story of Dan (a beautiful...

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

Considered to be one of the greatest American war films ever made, Apocalypse Now is an epic war movie loosely inspired the 1899 novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, with the setting changed from late 19th-century Congo ...

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...

Director(s): Bukai, Rafi
Year of Publication: 1986

This Israeli drama film follows two Egyptian soldiers in the aftermath of the Six-Day War (5-10 June 1967). They set out on a surreal journey across the Sinai desert in an attempt to reach the relative safety of the Suez Canal. The film'...

Director(s): Vautier, René
Year of Publication: 1972

Based on interviews with veterans of the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), this film explores how war reshapes identity. A group of young pacifists from Brittany is taken to a camp destined to deserters. They end up by accepting the...

Director(s): Markle, Peter
Year of Publication: 1988

Based on a true story and adapted from 1980 book of the same title by William C. Anderson, this film recounts the events of a rescue operation of Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton during the Vietnam War. Hambleton (Gene Hackman) is shot down behind enemy...

Director(s): Alaouié, Borhane
Year of Publication: 1981

Just after telephone communication is restored between the warring East and West sides of Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), two old college lovers, one Christian, the other Shiite, whose efforts to meet have dismally failed,...

Director(s): Korki, Shawkat Amin
Year of Publication: 2014

In this absurdist black comedy, a filmmaking duo encounters tragedy and corruption as they attempt to make a movie about the Iraqi-led genocide of Kurds (the Al-Anfal campaign) during the Iran-Iraq War. 

Director(s): Wilson, Hugh
Year of Publication: 1999

Blast from the Past is a 1999 American romantic comedy film. The film focuses on a naive 35-year old man, Adam Webber, who spent his entire life living in a fallout shelter built by his father, an eccentric scientist, during the Cuban...