Seventy years ago, the world was engulfed in the second World War. Ever since, that war has been the subject of a multitude of films. In March, Friday Night Flicks, Belfast Free Library’s free movie series, will present four films about the war, each representing a viewpoint from a different nation. All the films will be presented at 7 p.m. in the Abbott Room of library, 106 High St.

Samuel Fuller served in the 1st Infantry in during the war and tells the story of his unit in the “The Big Red One,” opening the series on March 2. On its original 1980 release, the film was poorly edited, but this restored version was released in 2004 to critical acclaim. Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill and Robert Carradine star.

“Paisan,” shown on March 9, was made in the immediate aftermath of the war. Roberto Rossellini’s masterpiece uses six vignettes to tell the story of Italy’s liberation from the Nazis. “Paisan,” released in 1946, was one of the most influential films of the post-war neorealist movement. Despite its wartime setting, it contains great humor and warmth.

A Japanese viewpoint is presented on March 23 in “Fires On the Plain.” Kon Ichikawa was primarily known as a director of comedies before he made this harrowing tale of desperate soldiers struggling to stay alive in the last days of the war. “Fires On The Plain,” released in 1959, has often been acclaimed as one of the greatest anti-war films for its gripping realism.

Based on the memoirs of Hitler’s personal secretary, “Downfall” tells the inside story of the last days of the Nazi regime. Prior to its release in 2004, no German film had ever depicted Hitler in a central role and the film generated great controversy. Bruno Ganz is brilliant in his portrayal of the mad dictator. “Downfall” will wrap up the month on March 30.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to