In the final months of WWII, John Huston made a film documenting the psychiatric rehabilitation of shell-shocked American GIs, who were returning to the states by the thousands. Produced under the auspices of the US government and immediately banned by its sponsor, LET THERE BE LIGHT had
to wait 35 years for a public screening. The film's history raises an interesting constitutional question: Can the state forbid taxpayers to see a movie made with their money?
After noting that 20 percent of WWII's US Army casualties were neuropsychiatric in nature, LET THERE BE LIGHT begins with footage of soldiers returning from the war. Next we see a racially integrated group...