Talk:World War II in contemporary culture

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Chinese Movies and TV Series[edit]

The Chinese movies mentioned in the Eastern Asia section is just a small fraction of movies and TV series made about the war. Here is a partial list with some description, of the movie that has WWII as significant plot line. Notice many of the movie are made on anniversary ending on 7 (start of war) and 5 (end of war). Some I doubt the statement that the subject “hardly made into any historical war movies intended for entertainment use” is true.

War Movies

血战台儿庄 (battle of Taierzhuan): (1987), about battle of taierzhuan. Once of first movies made in Mainland China that give positive image of Chang Kai Sheik. The article used to state that this movie is banned, but it’s not. It show on TV every July and September for as long as I remember watching TV. (I was too young to see it in theaters)

铁血昆仑关 (Battle of Kulun pass): (1994), about the battle of Kulun. he article used to state that this movie is banned, but I doubt it. DVDs of it can be brought at stores, and there is an official government website for this movie. However, I don’t remembering seeing this movie during “that time of the year”, as nearly as much as Taierzhuan or Railway Guerrilla.

太行山上 (On mount Taihong): (2005), about battles took place in shanxi province, where armies from Chinese nationalist, Chinese communist, and local warlord Yan xishan’s fought the Japanese in a uneasy alliance. 南京! 南京!(Nanking! Nanking!): (2008), a new movie about rape of nanking from the prospective of a teacher, a Chinese soldier and a Japanese soldier.

屠城血证(Massacre in Nanjing), (1987) ( Rape of Nanjing from the perspective of a doctor trying to resue people to the international zone, as well as trying to save pictures of the massacre. 狼牙山五壮士 (5 heroes of lanya mountain): (1958), early movie about company of partisan fight to the last 5 soldiers, who finally choose suicide rather than surrender.

地雷战(Mine war): (1962) early movie about partisan mine warfare, also used as “instructional” video for people’s war. One of few movie allowed in theaters in late 60’s.

地道战(tunnel war): (1966) early movie about partisan tunnel warfare, also used as “instructional” video for people’s war. One of few movie allowed in theaters in late 60’s.

松花江上(Along the Sungari River) (1947): Follow two ordinary civilian’s suffering under Japanese occupation, then finally drive to join the resistance. The movie is based a popular song of the same name. 铁道游击队 (Railway Guerrilla): (1956) About a guerrilla ambushing Japanese trains in northern China. Near the end of the movie, the guerrilla joins the war against the nationalist.

七七事变 (Marco Polo Bridge): (1995), a movie illustrating the events of Marco Polo Bridge incident. Simular to tora, tora, tora, the movie don’t have it’s own fictional plots.

英烈千秋 (The everlasting glory): (1974), a movie made by ROC in Taiwan about the General Zhang Zizhong and battle of Wuhan.

三毛从军记 (army adventures of san mao), a comedy about a young kid join the army during the battle of shanghai. Some of the jokes in there are somewhat inappropriate considering effects of the war on China. There some funny clips on youtube, if you search the Chinese title.

Movie with war as background plot

一江春水向东流 (The Spring River Flows East), (1947) Story about a family in pre-war, wartime and post war year. Notably, the men in the family either join the army or partisans, and woman stayed in occupied shanghai.

红高粱 (Red Sorghum), (1987), describes peasant life in northern China, with war going on the background.

苦菜花(Bitter flower), (1965), about a mother lead Japanese soldier into a minefield after her daughter and son in law are killed.

鬼子来了 (Devils on the Doorstep), (2001) A movie about partisans that left two 2 Japanese POWS in a village near end of the war, however, the partisans never come back, and villager must decide what do with them. The movie is first of it’s kind putting a human face on the Japanese soldier and didn’t show things in black and white. However, it is banned in China as of now.

TV Series on WWII

亮剑 (Show your sword), (2005) based on the novel of the same name. It depicts life fictional colonel/general Li Yunlong (the author said he made the character based on the life of several historical generals). Early part of the war depicts his broken regiment of few hundred men’s partisan activity behind enemy lines in Shanxi, and how it grew into a division of ten thousand (though poorly armed) that’s able took small towns. The 2nd part is about his actions in the civil war and tense relationship in the 50’s. (Due to his’s “bandit like” behavior in WWII) The book went on to depict his suicide during the Cultural Revolution, but the TV series cut the story off in 1955. One interesting aspect is his love and hate relationship with a KMT colonel/general during the WWII years and civil wars.

虎踞龙盘 (Tiger in the land of dragons): (2005), about a group of Bandits/armed Villager during the occupation in Manchurian. At first they are natural about Japanese and event collaborate with them, however, after they witness a Japanese sortie into unarmed neighboring villages, they turn on Japanese and join the resistance. This series has an interesting subplot between the group’s leader and a Japanese girl.

TV series with plot relates to WWII

情深深雨濛濛 (Romance in the Rain), (2002), a love story set just a year before the war. Most of there series is set before war, however being shanghai, the war came on pretty hard. Both male leads joined the army, father from the girl’s side get killing defending the family. The war part of the story is very similar to The Spring River Flows East, but far less tragic.

京华烟云 (Moment in Peking), (2005), based on Li Yutang’s novel of the same name. The story follows a family from 1915 – 1937 (1900 to 1937 in the book). Like the previous series, most of story have nothing to do with the war, then the war comes on hard. The novel itself is written in 1939 and dedicated to the soldiers fighting in China.

历史的天空(Moments of History), (2004) about two bandit joining the army after killing Japanese soldiers trying to save a girl. One joins the nationalist side, one joins the communist side, with their respective consequences. The series track the life of these two all the way to the present day.

English Language media[edit]

Isn't it telling that this is only about English language coverage of WWII?

Considering this is an English language wikipedia page where most users will only have significant exposure to English language references to WW2 in contemporary culture. If you have information regarding World War II in contemporary culture in other languages, by all means add it. It's hardly "telling", more like "expected" or "predictable", especially given that there appear to be no equivalent articles on other languages' wikipedias.

- Since something can be telling and predictable at once, I take it you do not contradict the point. And the subject is about Contemporary Culture, not just Wikipedia, so I take it your point there is also moot. As for the first one -- this being an English language Wikipedia --, I am not certain whether most users are native English speakers, and I am also not certain that native English speakers have been exposed to English language references only.

-- This isn't a good start to what is supposed to be a productive discussion. Drop the posturing and get on with improving the article.

Well, it's possible to get a more generalized global view on the topic by briefly mentioning war related media works from places besides the United States. As far as "Contemporary Culture" is concerned, the term itself is not language specific. KyuuA4 00:33, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Through anime, the Japanese have made many works with references to the war. KyuuA4 00:33, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Could somebody perhaps list some? Anime is popular not only in Japan, but throughout the world, and portrayls of World War II in anime would be instructive as to how Japanese society views the war. (talk) 17:17, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I could provide a small list:

Axis Powers Hetalia; First Squad; Grave of the Fireflies; Jin-Roh; Strike Witches; The Cockpit, URDA

I will add them in the main article. Please feel free to correct my edit. English is not my first language.

Also I'm not sure whether or not I should include them into the "Movies" section or if there should be an own section for it.

-- (talk) 13:26, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Odd Sentence[edit]

"Many see the war, retrospectively, as a war for the human soul, or even as a war between good and evil. However this is a simplistic rendering of the War and any real account must re-assert moral ambiguity as a consequence of the Allies' behaviour, as well as the moral culpability of the Allies in the partition of post-war Europe, perceived initial British reluctance, or the aloofness of the US."

That sentence could be simplified so easily, it sounds like someone used a thesaurus to make themselves sound intelligent.

The bottom half was my work, the human soul stuff someone else...


I dunno, I think the organization of the movies is a bit sloppy. I think we should bullet point the movies that were made, make it look simpler. --LtWinters 14:24, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Generally, Wikipedia MoS encourages the use of prose, not bulleted lists. The section as it stands seems fine by me. Parsecboy 00:46, 24 May 2007 (UTC)


For the films and the Tv shows, we are too close to lists. There should be at least one descriptive sentence for each item mentioned. Johncmullen1960 13:05, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

World war 2: General Perceptions[edit]

The world at war, it happened long back but the traces of which still reverbrates through our lives. we continue to hold the images and the umimaginable scope of the events. But the world is amiss. There is something quitely missing, going umlamentated and unreported. Long has the world lived with the idea that the world war 2 was won by the Americans alone. And the idea seems to take root by and by every year. most of the hollywood filmakers ignore the eastern front: the war fought between Germany and Russia where 30 million of the total 55 millions deaths of world war 2 occured. but this remains ignored due to the hip and hollah attached to everything american. while nothing wrong with that but when it bends down to whitewashing or re writing history, people must think and stop. The greatest battles of world war 2 : Stalingrad, Leningrad, Kursk, Moscow and the battle for Berlin go ignored much to the shame of the historians and the serious filmmakers. Time has come probably for the Hollywood filmakers to really use their world wide reach to actually take up world wide issues and literature making the world all the more richer, sane and balanced. It would really be mind blowing if Steven spielberg, Steven soderberg, james cameron or terrence malik could take over the unlamented stories of destruction beyond compare and sorrow unbound and the fury and despair and loss that marked the lands of the eastern front, where a million soldiers died in a matter of few days, where the total loss of Americans during the entire world war campaign was less then the Loss of soivet lives in just one battle(by no means the largest of the eastern front): the battle for berlin. It would be truly great to see these fine filmamkers take their reach to the eastern front and let the world know of the events and times that existed. It would bring new light to world to see those images and the unprecendented courage and sorrow and insanity of the times. Probably time has come to honor and speak of the 40 million deaths( 30 million russians and 10 chinese: the bulk of the world war 2 deaths) which have so far recieved meagre attention to the much lop sided view of the history. it is time we moved beyond the horse eyed view of the world war which traditonally been restricted to D Day landings which if compared to lets say the battle of stalingrad which in deaths and scope and material and firepower would be no more then a puff of dust. Time has come to look beyond our own borders and depict the times in correct historical background wihtout reverting to stereotypes where soviets and nazis are inevitably cold and heartless. can we move beyond this? do we dare change the mindsets and let the stories speak for themselves rather then cultural differences allow us to ignore a part of the world war history which actually won the world war 2 for the world. cause truth be told, by the time Americans landed on the normandy beaches in france 70% of the Hitler's forces had already been destroyed and were in full retreat through the hell and the cold that was the eastern front. And no matter how we may comapre, Japan was no Germany. Hitler's forces were and are still considered by many historians as the best till date: the best fighting machines ( but by large they were no machines): they were humans with emotions and lives and wives back home: they laughed and cried and died like all others: too long have they been branded demons and devils: please lets move beyond the stereotypes: Can we let the history speak for itself? or will we keep stooping down to downplaying our opponents? can we not make the world more richer and more saner if we just allowed the real stories to be told? if we could just follow an artist's integrity or a historians sense of justice? Can the American film makers with their dedication to reality, art and movie making move beyond the culturally set boundaries and really be global. Can not a film maker be willing to take on the Siege of Leningrad which saw a million russians STARVE to death: can this be ignored and for how long? Does not the unprecendented tragedy and the horror of the scope move a film maker? Please lets join hands in creating a world where justice , reality and truth join hands in bringing the lost pages of history to the world. Can we not do it? There are a great many books(memoirs, non fiction) on the eastern front: from the forgotten soldier to the forsaken army to the ordeal of the hermitage to shurik. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:33, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

This page is not for advocacy of artistic change. Your definition of "the world" may have limited geographic scope. There is no "we" or "us" to speak of; definitely not one that fits your description of how "the world" views WWII and the relative significance of various events. (talk) 21:27, 18 June 2008 (UTC)