Five Came Back - Why We Create

A 3-part documentary on Netflix, Five Came Back, dropped in 2017. I recently came across its thumbnail and didn’t look back. (The power of the documentary does not fade!!) I would classify it as a World War II documentary about the relevance of filmmaking…..

The structure operates with five celebrated film directors who are working today (Steven Spielberg, Guillermo Del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola, Lawrence Kasdan, and Paul Greengrass) speaking on behalf of five other legendary film directors (Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens, and William Wyler), regarding their experiences as filmmakers pre-, during, and post-World War II.

Before entering the war, the legendary directors were already established in the industry. Overseas, they continued working with the medium and used their time to make films with footage from the war. It was a means of documenting and commenting on an unfathomable period in human existence. Some footage includes fighter plane skirmishes, the D-Day Invasion, and the aftermath of genocide. The innovative tactics they implemented to record what they saw changed filmmaking forever.

The documentary dives into the importance of the genre itself and as to how a film can impact the world. It also touches on the artist’s ever-changing influences and the journeys a person may embark on that lead he or she to tell a story, or serve a purpose, for a cause greater than oneself.