Why We Fight is a series of seven propaganda films commissioned by the United States government during World War II to demonstrate to American soldiers the reason for U.S. involvement in the war. Later on they were also shown to the general U.S. public to persuade them to support American intervention.
Most of the films were directed by Frank Capra, who was daunted yet also impressed and challenged by Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda film Triumph of the Will and who worked in direct response to it. The series faced a tough challenge: convincing an only recently isolationist nation of the need to become involved in the war and ally with the Soviets, among other things. In many of the films, Capra and other directors spliced in Axis powers propaganda footage – recontextualizing it so it promoted the cause of the Allies instead.
Made from 1942 to 1945, the seven films range from 40 to 76 minutes in length, and all are available on DVD or online.
In 2000 the United States Library of Congress deemed the films "culturally significant" and selected them for preservation in the National Film Registry. Created by the U.S. Army Pictorial Services, the films are in the public domain; all of them are available for download at the Internet Archive.
- Why We Fight (Prelude to War)
- Why We Fight (The Nazis Strike)
- Why We Fight (Divide and Conquer)
- Why We Fight (The Battle of Britain)
- Why We Fight (The Battle of Russia [Part 1])
- Why We Fight (The Battle of Russia [Part 2])
- Why We Fight (The Battle of China)
- Why We Fight (War Comes to America)