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): Arbid, Danielle
Year of Publication: 2004
Abstract:

Set in Beirut in 1983, torn by the prolonged civil war. Twelve-year-old Lina is the sad and only child of an embattled couple, Fouad and his pregnant wife, Thérèse. Lina hovers on the outskirts of domestic strife as the family tries to cope with...

Director(s): Barbeau-Lavalette, Anaïs
Year of Publication: 2012
Abstract:

Chloé, a young French-Canadian doctor with the Red Crescent, constantly moves between contemporary Israel and the Occupied territories. She lives in Jerusalem and works in Ramallah, passing through checkpoints daily to monitor the pregnancies of...

Director(s): Bastos, Mario
Year of Publication: 2015
Abstract:

This documentary begins with memories of the colonial situation in Portuguese-ruled Angola, reveals the first steps in the struggle, and covers the main settings where it took place. From 1961 to 1974, the war in Angola spread from the bush areas...

Director(s): Wargnier, Régis
Year of Publication: 1992
Abstract:

Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Indochine,  Régis Wargnier offers an interpretation of French colonialism in Indochina through the lens of a French plantation owner, Éliane Devries, played by Catherine Deneuve, and her...

Director(s): Koshashvili, Dover
Year of Publication: 2010
Abstract:

Based on one of the most popular Israelis novels by Yehoshua Kenaz, this film unravels the making of Israeli national identity through militarism as well as the ethnic, national, and class distinctions that still characterize Israeli socieity....

Director(s): Green, Alfred E.
Year of Publication: 1952
Abstract:

This Hollywood exploitation film reflects the hysteria surrounding the Cold War in the early 1950s. The Soviets invade America, and an atomic bomb lands on Manhattan. A young man and woman fall in love amidst the chaos.

Director(s): Green, Alfred E
Year of Publication: 2002
Abstract:

"A mysterious stranger engages a diverse group of Manhattan bar patrons in a discussion on the best way to beat communism. Suddenly, a real Red Alert is declared and enemy parachutists by the thousands begin landing on American soil! Soon atom...

Director(s): Eastwood, Clint
Year of Publication: 2009
Abstract:

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. [IMBd]

Director(s): Furie, Sidney J
Year of Publication: 1988
Abstract:

General Charles "Chappy" Sinclair oversees a band of American and Russian fighter pilots to destroy a mutual enemy in the waning days of the Cold War. Loosely based on the 1981 Operation Opera in which the Israeli military bombed a nuclear...

Director(s): Ennadre, Dalila
Year of Publication: 2008
Abstract:

Dalila Ennadre and produced by Film Documentaire France and Aya Films, describes the life of a Moroccan woman named Fadma who worked as a prostitute in a French military brothel during the First Indochina War (1946–54). Fadma...

Director(s): Chiche, Franck
Year of Publication: 2012
Abstract:

During the Generals Putsch in April 1961, the lives of three young adults intertwine in Algiers. A soldier, a photographer for the OAS (Secret Armed Organization), and a member of the FLN (National Liberation Front) confront each other over their...

Director(s): Moati, Serge
Year of Publication: 2010
Abstract:

This well-researched documentary dramatizes Charles de Gaulle's changing positions regarding the Algerian War. Recently elected as president of the new Fifth Republic of France in 1958, de Gaulle issues his support to nationals and partisans in...

Director(s): Kramer, Stanley
Year of Publication: 1961
Abstract:

This widely praised courtroom drama examines justice, moral complicity, and collective guilt through the U.S.-led Nuremberg Trials. Focused specifically on the 1948 Judges Trial, an American judge debates the fate of his German counterparts....

Director(s): Butler, David
Year of Publication: 1955
Abstract:

Released a year after Dien Bien Phu, this French-production pays homage to a group of soldiers who died in the climatic battle of the First Indochina War. Veterans and new enlistees encounter guerilla warfare, dwindling supplies, and torrential...

Director(s): Bigelow, Kathryn
Year of Publication: 2002
Abstract:

The Soviet Union has given control of its first nuclear submarine to naval officer Captain Vostrikov in the midst of the Cold War. While it is up for debate whether the submarine is prepared to launch a warning fire in the Atlantic Ocean, the...

Director(s): Bigelow, Kathryn
Year of Publication: 2002
Abstract:

Captain Vostrikov, a Russian naval officer, has been given command of the Soviet Union's first nuclear submarine, K-19, at the height of the Cold War in 1961. The vessel's executive officer Captain Polenin asserts that the flagship is not yet...

Director(s): Paris, Rogelio
Year of Publication: 2008
Abstract:

Kangamba tells the story of Cuban involvement with the Angolan Civil War, highlighting the role of African nations in the global Cold War. In August 1983, Cuban volunteers fight alongside troops from the Armed Forces for the Liberation...

Director(s): Gitai, Amos
Year of Publication: 2002
Abstract:

A group of Holocaust refugees arrive in war-torn Palestine, days before the declaration of the state of Israel. Some join the Palmach, the Jewish underground army, while others try to find peace amidst chaos.

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