Know WWI: WWI and WWII Soldiers on Film

Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  8/14/2014

WWI SoldiersSome of the most enduring and popular films tell the stories of soldiers at war. From Saving Private Ryan to All Quiet on the Western Front, films about war have helped shape the way we feel about the history, the people and the places forever changed by armed conflict. Join COCC Professor Jake Agatucci for a discussion about WWI and WWII soldiers and how they are portrayed in films. The presentations at the Redmond and Downtown Bend Libraries are part of the Know WWI series offered at Deschutes Public Library during the month of August.

Tuesday, August 19 • 6:00 p.m.
Redmond Library

Wednesday, August 20 • 6:00 p.m.
Downtown Bend Library

During his presentation Aggatucci will compare and contrast the way American soldiers from WWI and WWII are depicted on film. “Contemporary films about both wars focus on the strength, courage, and integrity of field soldiers and depict them carrying out acts of heroism and sacrifice,” says Agatucci. “Yet, WWII soldiers are still labeled ‘The Greatest Generation’ and the amount of films made about the American experience in WWII far outnumber the amount of films made about the American experience in WWI.” Agatucci points to the nature of the enemy in WWI and WWII films as being distinctly different. “German soldiers in WWI films are often depicted as honorable and respectable, while German soldiers in WWII films tend to be cast in a less favorable light. This one difference, suggests that the soldiers of WWII overcame a deadlier, more ruthless opposing force that bordered on being evil in nature.” Using clips from selected films Agatucci will explore the socio-cultural attitude about these wars that creates a distinct perceptual difference in the men who fought them.

In addition to teaching composition and literature at COCC, Agatucci also teaches courses in film and popular culture. He is active in the local film scene and screens films for the Bend Film Festival.

For more information about this or other library programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz at 312-1032.

Page Last Modified Wednesday, March 8, 2023