Education About Asia: Online Archives

Teaching the Pacific War through Films

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The present generation is a visual generation. Our students have not known a time without television and the VCR. Thus, the use of films is an ideal way to present the Pacific phase of World War II. Good films can be dramatic in demonstrating the reality of that war to present day students.

Even bad films can be useful in other ways. Those dealing with the Pacific often contain the grossest stereotypes. Many of these films, though, can help a teacher deal with the production and presentation of propaganda. While the racial stereotypes presented in the worst films are sometimes offensive to people today, it is important to remember that they were part of the psyche of the period.