Tuesday, July 31, 2012

John Huston Documentary: "Let There Be Light"

Post traumatic stress disorder was not given a name until sometime in the 1980s. But that didn't mean veterans returning from wars were not subject to psychological trauma.

Even in the 1940s, this trauma was recognized, but kept hush-hush. Renowned film director, John Huston, made a documentary on this subject in 1946. However, the U.S. Army blocked its release, and it was not revealed to the public until 1980. By that time, however, the quality of the film itself was in such bad shape that watching it was impossible.

Thanks to the National Archives, the film was fully restored and can be watched for a limited time at this link.


This is a no-holds barred look at the psychological trauma suffered by World War II veterans, and further shows how we need to remember what these brave men and women went through. That the U.S. Army banned its release for so many years, however, is not only telling, but shameful.

1 comment:

Zim said...

This documentary is a great piece in the WWII puzzle and I'm glad the National Archives took the chance and restored it. I found this to be both haunting and honest and find that, as you stated, it was shameful of the Army to ban it! If only the general public and the military alike began to understand and accept PTSD then, there could have been a lot less suffering and internal shame of those suffering from it now and in the last few decades...