John Huston’s controversial World War II documentary about soldiers suffering from combat stress has been restored by the National Archives and put online to mark Memorial Day.
The film, “Let There Be Light,” was supressed by the Army and not shown to the public until 1980. The restoration has repaired the soundtrack, allowing viewers to hear once-inaudible conversations between the soldiers and the Army doctors treating them for what was then called shell shock and is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We hope that by making ‘Let There Be Light’ freely available — and by drawing attention to it — that the courageous documentary will find the audience it was intended to serve,” said Annette Melville, director of the National Film Preservation Foundation, which funded the restoration.
The film will be available on the foundation’s Web site through August.