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A multi-volumed documentary mini-series, "The World at War" covers the entire history of World War II from the causes of the 1920s to the aftermath of the Cold War in the 1950s. Emphasis is also placed on several inside story episodes, where events are covered which occurred inside Germany and Japan such as resistance to Hitler, life in general under a dictatorial regime, and particular emphasis is focused on the Jewish Holocaust. Written by
Anthony Hughes <email@example.com>
The music and Laurence Olivier's sombre delivery set the tone perfectly for this outstanding documentary. This is still a must see for WW II buffs, descendants of the participants of that conflict, politicians who think things always go their way when they extend their foreign policy via the deck of an aircraft carrier (did you hear that George Bush?) and anyone else curious or needing to know the whys whos and hows of some aspect of that conflict. The 26 episodes are roughly in chronological order but can be seen out of sequence since they are more or less self contained. There is bound to be new insight for the new viewer because of the sheer volume presented. Actual footage of the battles is interspersed with interviews of those involved in the stories. Many of the interviews are with second line authorities, that is, support personnel to the main characters, privates, captains, secretaries, eyewitnesses and the like. You get a real upfront taste of what war is all about.
I am presently watching the DVD version of the original television documentary. I strongly recommend this over the worn out, gaptoothed, overpriced VHS offerings available on eBay. I paid $120 Cdn for five 2-sided DVD discs. This new release includes bonus material and is in full screen mode. The menus are easy to follow, there is first a choice of which episode you want to view and then after selecting that you are given the option of various chapters in the episode or to play the whole episode. It is understandable with such a comprehensive presentation there is a tiny amount more of navigation in the menu but the impact of what you will see is not diminished after 30 years, nay, after 60 years since the war finished.
I remember watching the first broadcast on the Buffalo PBS station just before moving from London in 1975 and wishing right from that time that I could have a copy. Now my wish has finally come true.
See this documentary. Tell your friends. Buy a copy for your library. Remember and honour the sacrifices and challenges overcome by those from America, Russia, Britain, Canada and all the other nations and peoples involved in the final victory. What an eye opener.
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