Churchill's Island (1941) Poster

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8/10
Masterful propaganda
amok198012 January 2002
During WWII, German films to be used in Germany for propaganda reasons were often intercepted by the Allies and sent to Canada. The National Film Board, under John Grierson, would then use the German footage in Allied propaganda.

Churchill's Island, perhaps the most famous of the Western propaganda, extolls the virtues of the Allied cause while using Nazi footage to show the evils of fascism.

While this film seems very dated (and with good reason, it's 60 years old), it's still a fascinating look at the use of a relatively new media as a tool of social control. 8/10.
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6/10
why and how the UK fights
lee_eisenberg5 January 2016
The first ever documentary to win an Academy Award will be harder to take seriously nowadays due to the propaganda factor, but I'd say that it made perfect sense in World War II. "Churchill's Island" extols the United Kingdom's defense industry, identifying it as the main bulwark against Nazi Germany's advance. Despite the title, Winston Churchill only appears briefly at the end. The other elephant in the room is that back then, it was widely agreed that we needed high taxes to pay for wars; sixty years later George W. Bush turned a record surplus into record deficits by borrowing money from China* to fund his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the end, I recommend this documentary, the first ever Canadian production to win an Oscar.

*Speaking of China, the people who buy all that junk in Wal-Mart overlook something. Wal-Mart buys 90% of its products from China, which buys its oil from Iran. On top of it, the evangelical Christians have endorsed Vladimir Putin for his anti-gay policies, not realizing that his government is one of Iran's biggest allies.
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