Pearl Harbor was an attack by Imperial Japan in response to the oil export cut off by the United States. The film “Pearl Harbor” (2001), is about the day that will live in infamy which depicts the happenings of the attack and response by the Americans. The film Pearl Harbor, directed by Michael Bay, is successful in getting its message through, that Pearl Harbor, while tragic, was what the United States needed to participate in WWII. The cinematographic techniques help portray that the Pearl Harbor attack was what gained the American support for involvement in WWII.
This film was also successful in depicting the event in such a way that textbooks simply could not. Pearl Harbor was what the United States needed to enter WWII. During WWII, Americans believed that WWII was Europe’s problem and their problem alone. For Franklin D. Roosevelt the situation was a delicate one, if he decided to have the United States participate without a clear motive, it would be political suicide to his career. Not only to his career, but also to his respective political party’s reputation.Order now
When crisis erupts in the country, the political party in power will always be at fault, the depression had already taken a toll on the nation and most people held FDR and the Democrats at fault. Also, most American people believed that they didn’t need a war to add to the depression and make things worse. In addition, after WWI the idea of isolationism spread, the people of the United States wanted to keep to themselves and definitely did not want to involve themselves in Europe’s war.
The cinematographic techniques of the movie help deliver the message throughout the film, that Pearl Harbor while tragic, was a beneficial event in American History. The cinematographic techniques used in the film are successful in conveying the covert message of the film, that Pearl Harbor was a beneficial event in the long run. The film’s plot in regard to Franklin D. Roosevelt is a key cinematographic technique which helps convey the purpose that in a way, Pearl Harbor was the open door that the United States needed to enter WWII.
During a scene where President Roosevelt addresses his cabinet and asks “I’m going to ask you all what the Allies are asking me, how long until U. S. involvement in the war? ” The response from one member of cabinet was, “We don’t have a reason for war, and the people don’t see it as our problem. ” The President’s question to the cabinet member clearly shows that everyone is waiting for United States involvement in WWII. The response of the cabinet member is appropriate, if they decided to get involved without the support of the people then that would be political suicide for President Roosevelt’s career.
That is an example of why although tragic, Pearl Harbor served as what the United States needed, a motive to move their tanks, planes, and troops to the war front, the United States was already sending food and supplies to the Allies. The cinematography of the film also helps portray that the Japanese had good reason. Japan, at the time, had a militaristic government. They didn’t hide the fact that they wanted to control areas in the Asia Pacific, they started with China. Once attacks on China began, the oil used to attack was American oil.
America refused to have a role in a mission of conquest like one Britain had. Exporting oil to Japan would be hypocritical since they revolted against Britain for them being a militaristic empire. They stopped oil exports to Japan and Japan only had 18 months supply of oil, which was being consumed faster due to war. The movie made it clear that Japan had no choice, but to go to war to save their country. Japan either was to not act and let the country lose their power, or attack the United States for their oil.
During the film, Admiral Yamamoto, says that war is their only option to save the country, which was put in the film to directly imply that Japan was between the wall and the sword. Honor, is what Japanese soldiers wanted to bring to their family by doing what their country asked of them, in the film there is a voice over of a Japanese soldier that says he wants to bring honor to his family by bombing Pearl Harbor. This portrays the Japanese as not savage or cold hearted, they simply were trying to save their country and bring honor to their families.
Pearl Harbor (2001), also achieved what a textbook couldn’t. It’s one thing to read about Pearl Harbor, it’s another to witness it. Any textbook can tell you of sinking ships, and the scene of Pearl Harbor along with its victims. Pearl Harbor the film showed the events that took place on the day that will live in infamy in a way that helps one truly understand why this had such a great impact in American History. Before the attack, the film shows how the Americans truly didn’t know where the Japanese naval fleet was, how fierce arguments began due to the panic of not knowing the location of the whole fleet.
Once the attack began, viewers could truly witness how intimidating the Japanese bombers seemed, the panic that arose due to the time the attack took place. The aftermath was well portrayed by the film, the sunken ships, those who were trapped and drowned in the vessels they lived and worked on, the destroyed airfields, and the dead lying and floating everywhere. The near dead who struggled to the clinic, missing limbs and burned all over. How the nurses had to pick and choose those to be let in based on their chances of surviving.
The lack of supplies and personnel to attend all of the attack victims. The sights portrayed in the film truly let us understand how filled with panic, sadness, death and grief the day was. The film is successful in portraying the event on a deeper level in a way that textbooks could not. Pearl Harbor (2001), a film that serves to remind us that what happened on December 7, 1941, while tragic is what the United States needed to help win WWII for the Allies, stop Europe being under Nazi Germany’s control, and solidify their role in the world as a superpower.
If it not had been for the events that took place on December 7, 1941, WWII would have been won by the axis powers, the United States wouldn’t be a superpower for one main reason, that they wouldn’t have built the atomic bomb first, which put fear into other countries. This film also gives us a unique grip and point of view on Pearl Harbor that entire textbooks on this subject could not give us. December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy.