New York: Museum of Modern Art Film Library, 1944. Broadside, approx. 7 X 21-1/2 in., printed on one side only. Folded, as for mailing, with a few incidental dents, still quite fine and fresh. Item #205403
Slim bulletin board poster advertising MoMA's presentation of propaganda films from the Office of War Information, the Office of Strategic Services, the War Department, the U.S. Navy, and the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. The thirteen-week series was offered during the darkest period of the war, opening a day before D-Day on June 5, 1944. These various government agencies employed some of the greatest film talent available in their efforts, and the films included in this series showcased the work of many, including Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak, Walt Disney, Garson Kanin, Julien Bryan, James Stewart, Quentin Reynolds, and Clark Gable. The Disney contribution, "The Grain that Built a Hemisphere", was an animated short produced under the auspices of the Office of Inter-American Affairs recounting the history of corn and its importance in the growth of the Americas. It was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary in 1943. Capra's "Prelude to War" had won the award in 1942 and was the first of what would be seven films in the "Why We Fight Series". The first five were part of this presentation; the last two were made subsequently. Capra, who had enlisted after the Pearl Harbor attack, recognized the powerful role that film might play in the U.S. war effort after viewing Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will". "Why We Fight" was his response.