Strange Victory

In 1948, Leo Hurwitz released a stunningly powerful film that examined the promises made to Black Americans and American servicemen in particular and contrasted that with their experience in this country after helping to secure victory over Japan and Nazi Germany.

The film, which is considered one of the best documentaries of the 20th century, is powerful, poignant, and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Strange Victory (1948)

Strange Victory is the first significant anti-racist U.S. documentary film. With World War II over and Frontier Films dissolved, Leo Hurwitz and Barney Rosset (soon to form Grove Press) teamed up as Target Films to create this eloquent and powerful statement. It was to be their only collaboration. Amidst the high hopes of the post-World War II economic and baby boom, it represented a provocative questioning of the discrepancies between the ideals of the allied victory and the lingering aspects of fascism in U.S. society. In his trademark style, Hurwitz juxtaposes archival scenes of the war’s destruction with newly shot sequences, both actuality and reenacted. It asks the question, “Why are the ideas of loser still alive in the land of the winner?”

Honor The Past

As seen in Harlem (West 117th Street)