Saturday, May 29, 2010

SnagFilms Presents Free Memorial Day Documentaries

SnagFilms is a site where you can watch and share hundreds of free feature-length documentaries online. This weekend it is showcasing a slate of films devoted to Memorial Day themes.

As SnagFilms CEO Rick Allen wrote for Huffington Post:

Featured films include Return To Tarawa, the story of a veteran of one of the bloodiest battles ever fought by U.S. Marines, who returns to that Pacific atoll only to discover that what should be hallowed ground has become a garbage dump—and that the bones of warriors remain in place, unidentified and apparently ignored, at least by our government. Leon Cooper won’t forget, and the film outlines his last battle: to clean up “Bloody Tarawa” and venerate the dead.

Nanking is the highly-honored documentary that picked up its Peabody Award this week—now online for the first time. It brilliantly depicts the heroism of civilians just prior to World War II who tried to prevent a Holocaust from occurring when Japanese troops marched into the then-capital of China in 1937. Nanking reminds us that bravery is not the sole province of the soldier, and that moral and physical courage can come from unlikely sources.

In Vietnam, Long Time Coming, U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers embark on a 1600-mile bicycle tour throughout Vietnam, reflecting with their former enemies on our long war. A similar approach to post-war understanding, On Common Ground, tells the story of American and German World War II veterans meeting 55 years later on the very battlefield where once they’d fought.

Other Memorial Day films featuring World War II themes include Battle of the Midway, and Pearl Harbor: Day of Infamy. East LA Marine tells the story of US Marine PFC Guy Gabaldon, who captured over 1500 Japanese soldiers and civilians—single-handedly. For those who wish to reflect on Memorial Day along the contours of its original creation, SnagFilms is showing Arlington Field of Honor, which offers a tour of America’s most sacred warrior graveyard. Other films in the special offering include Devil Dog Diaries (National Geographic’s inside look at a unit in action during Desert Storm), and So Very Far from Home, the true stories that were the basis of Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun.
We tried our hand at creating our own SnagFilms Memorial Day movie-theater widget, and found that it is easy to do. This one contains 3 films -- Pearl Harbor: Day of Infamy, Return to Tarawa, So Very Far From Home -- but there are plenty more on SnagFilms that are worthy of your attention.

Watch more free documentaries

See SnagFilms' free Memorial Day documentaries here.

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