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116 Ratings

Let There Be Light

Directed by John Huston
United States, 1946
Documentary, War


The final entry in a trilogy of films produced for the U.S. government by John Huston. This documentary film follows 75 U.S. soldiers who have sustained debilitating emotional trauma and depression.

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Let There Be Light Directed by John Huston
I revisited John Huston’s tremendous 1946 film about psychologically traumatized veterans, Let There Be Light, a major visual and narrative influence on Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. The early round of interviews between military psychologists and veterans (some of which are quoted in The Master’s dialogue) is really something to see. The static shot-reverse-shot camerawork of these scenes… has a penetrating simplicity.
May 26, 2017
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This is a vital study of the cost of war beyond body counts, but it’s equally revealing for showing the first mass adoption of psychotherapy, with all the pitfalls that entails.
January 20, 2016
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It’s a sympathetic and moving chronicle of postwar GI psychiatric patients, all suffering from battle-related “nervous” disorders. Huston lets the fragile state of these men serve as an implicit denunciation of the cost of war even as he celebrates their resilience and recovery.
January 04, 2016

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