Let There Be Light

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Date: 1946

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video


Huston1.jpg

Artist: John Huston, director (1906 - 1987)

Confronting Bodies: U.S. Army officials

Dates of Action: 1946

Location: The United States of America

Description of Artwork: Let There be Light follows real veterans who suffered psychological damage through their therapy until their discharge. The making of this film had been assigned to him by the military.

The Incident: In 1946, military police confiscated the film during a preview showing. The army's reason was that not all the music had been cleared and that some patients did not sign release forms. The true cause is more likely that the army did not like the way Huston portrayed the subject matter. They did not want to worry the public about the psychological effects of war. The army later released another movie on the same topic using actors instead of real soldiers.

Results of Incident: Let There be Light was withheld from the public until 1980, when the Motion Picture Association of America convinced the government to release it.

Source: Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Ed. Derek Jones. Chicago; London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001.