In addition to fabricating and falsely attributing statements to Adolf Hitler, Frank Capra’s Why We Fight also misrepresents documentary film footage. This video demonstrates that Capra edited footage of an execution of Communists by Nationalist Chinese troops to misrepresent it as an execution of civilians by Japanese troops. The evidence for this is given beginning at 5:36 in the video.
The original, unaltered footage of the National Revolution Army that we see also shows very briefly a scene of dead bodies in a narrow street, similar to some other scenes shown in Why We Fight. The execution scene is probably not the only scene that Capra lifted from that footage.
In retrospect it is possible to discern that there is something suspect about that segment even without having the original, uncropped footage for comparison. Aside from the fact that Capra’s film doesn’t show the executioners and their uniforms, there is the editing of the segment. We see prisoners shot then there is a momentary Hollywood-style cut to a closeup of what is supposed to be a Japanese officer, probably an actor, shouting an order. For this to be authentic there would have had to be two cameramen on the scene, working with this kind of Hollywood film-editing in mind, and the Japanese officer would have had to allow the closeup. This seems extremely unlikely just on its face. Most likely Capra spliced in the actor dressed as a Japanese officer to compensate for the fact that there were no Japanese soldiers visible elsewhere in the scene. The consideration of how a film is edited can in itself generate legitimate doubt about the authenticity of what is presented as documentary footage.
I do not mean to suggest that the Japanese were not cruel; the Japanese and the Chinese alike (although Capra portrays the Chinese as passive and thoroughly gentle) could be very cruel to prisoners. But the fact is that certain scenes in Frank Capra’s Why We Fight, a US Army training film later released to the general public, are not what they are said to be.
The U.S. Army Signal Corps, which was responsible for the creation of this series of propaganda films, was also responsible for footage depicting German concentration camps at the end of the war.
The Kuomintang also misrepresented photos allegedly portraying the “Rape of Nanking.” The non-Japanese man on the show who wants to maintain that the Rape of Nanking really happened is David Spector, a Jew: