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Background to the Film

The versatile field of digital humanities offers manifold opportunities of obtaining, handling and presenting information. Apart from showing an annotated film version, this part of the homepage provides a general section about analysing documentary films with methodological and case-specific background information. We combine the assessment of the film’s content via the annotation tool pad.ma, with the analysis of archival source material, especially profiting from the records of the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (JACAR). At the same time, we attempt to indicate and discuss the difficulties and limits of our analysis, too. Though the propagandist intentions of the film are obvious, many issues still remain somewhat obscure, such as the detailed story of production, distribution, the actual or intended audiences of the film versions, and the part of the League of Nations in this. Whilst some answers or at least insights can be gained, dealing with this film raises even more new questions about the Manchurian Incident and the role and potential propagandist exploitation of international forces of mediation and conciliation before the Second World War.