We Accuse (1945)

Run Time - 71 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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We Accuse was the first American feature-length documentary on Nazi wartime atrocities: in fact, the film's title was originally Atrocities, presumably changed because the word was still unknown to many filmgoers. Using the trial of three German officers as its framework, the film is largely comprised of Soviet newsreel footage. Thus, the Nazi outrages included herein are those perpetratedly against Russian women and children; so gruesome were some of the images that the Hays Office, Hollywood's censorship bureau, demanded extensive cuts (the censors were unaware of the horrors awaiting them in the soon-to-be released Signal Corps footage from the recently liberated European death camps). Everett Sloane narrates the film, which was written by Warner Bros. scenarist John Bright. Much of the trial footage in We Accuse was taken from a previously released British documentary.