Superman Goes to War
In 1941 Fleischer Studios began work on a spectacular series of Superman cartoons. These short films were some of the most expensive produced to that date and, by 1942, the Fleischer brothers had been removed from the project. The second sequence of cinematic Superman cartoons (1942-1943) paid much more attention to the unfolding events of World War II and in films like “Eleventh Hour” used extensive racial coding to mock and stigmatise the Japanese. Although the war-time context of these films might appear to explain the appearance of such blatant racism, these films were only the most recent episode in a long history of anti-Asian racism in the United States. In this second episode of the ‘Artist in American History’ film festival the complete Superman short film “Eleventh Hour” is combined with a brand new audio and visual commentary.
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