(Updating dead links, especially from the late and lamented (here at least) VodPod, I found myself back in 2008, with this post on Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer.” Fortunately, I found the film migrated to YouTube, though split in two parts. Some information that should have caught our attention in 2008 deserves noting now, and we can update and add new links.)
It’s largely forgotten now, especially in history texts in high schools. After the Spanish-American War, when the U.S. wrested several territories from Spain, including Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, the U.S. quickly got mired in one of the original guerrilla wars in the Philippines. It took 15 years, but the U.S. finally put down the rebellion — 15 brutal, bloody years. The conduct of that war shocked many people, including Mark Twain.
This piece was written partly in response to that war.
Many Americans, like Twain, who questioned the war, in turn had their patriotism questioned. Why wouldn’t they get on board with the war, and kill off those Filipino rebels? the critics asked.
Another short film of The War Prayer came out in 2007, from Lyceum Productions. Neither version appears to be available on DVD or Blu-Ray. Too bad.