War and Peace
During the Second World War, NFB documentaries informed and inspired Canadians and audiences around the world. These documentaries offer a unique vantage point on the wartime experience at home and on the front.
1944, Director: James Beveridge
1 min 30 s
Grierson on War Propaganda
From "The Film at War," in Forsyth Hardy, ed, Grierson on Documentary, Faber and Faber, London & Boston, 1979, pp 88-89
It would be a poor information service, it seemed, which kept harping on war to the exclusion of everything, making our minds narrow and anaemic. It would be poor propaganda which taught hatred, till it violated the sense of decency which ten thousand years of civilization have established. It would be an inefficient national information which did not keep the home fires of national activity burning, while the men were off to the war. In war as in peace, strength lies in hope, and it is the wisest propaganda which keeps men rich in hope....
There are two sides to propaganda, and two sides to the film at war. The film can be mobilized to give the news and the story of a great historical event. In that sense our aim was to use it for all its worth to secure the present. But my hope has been that the film would also be used more and more to secure the future and serve the still wider needs of the people of Canada. War films, yes, but more films, too, about the everyday things of life, the values, the ideals which make life worth living.