Je vais évaluer deux clips vidéo qui montrent de façon saisissante le changement dans les attitudes envers la Première Guerre mondiale à travers l'ouverture des archives et le développement de la technologie.
“WW1: Slaughter in the Trenches” by Sony Pictures Television International & Universal Pictures Visual Programming
In these two videos we can see explicitly the graphic changes that occurred in the perception of the First World War through the media and technology.
The first video, produced just after the war, finishes with a patriotic remembrance for those who have fought. “You have won. A fame imperishable, God bless you and bring you safely home to us”. It was produced before the gut wrenching stories of war had been truly been told. A degree of nationalism after 50 years of Imperialism was still present. To add to this it is possible to see the purpose of this video as a form of propaganda. Although the war was recognised as a tragic event, the true devastation had evidently not yet reached societies core.
This devastation was heavily implanted in societies memory by the opening of new archives presented in the second video that heavily contrasts the first. This video has the purpose of educating rather than being a form of propaganda, an advantage when evaluating the true perception of war as it allows the viewer to think for themselves rather than being influenced by the sound of trumpets in the background seen in the first video which attempts to evoke a sense of national pride. Although it is a long clip, the most poignant point is the account from Private Linfoot’s Diary at 21:04 who accurately presents the helpless and blind nature of the soldiers in the war. These new archives reveal the true brutality of the war many years after the armistice presented in the first video. The role of technology is particularly significant as the reproduction in colour of certain gruesome images of the dead such as at 26:30 bring the war to a reality for those who had to stay at home. It was no longer defined by the lyrical words found in the papers. These images heavily undercut this “lyrical” remembrance in the first video to redefine what the war truly was to the public. Even by looking at the YouTube comments we see this process’s effects with exclamations of disbelief made by viewers who have had years to comprehend what happened. The process would be much more dramatic for someone newly adapting to the influence of technology.
In all, history was shared between the public and the soldiers. This can be seen as a precursor to the Vietnam War where the development of the media brought the war directly into out living rooms sparking protests and riots. One wonders whether if this had been the case in 1914, would the public have taken to the streets?
Thus we can see that over time, the media and technology has removed the filter that diluted the horror of World War One for the public revealing a horrid scab that 100 years and many generations on, is still deeply rooted in memory.