Mammouth, 200-minute documentary taking a look at just about everything you'd want to know about the tragic sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. The documentary is broken into two parts with each one just as dramatic as the other and you really do get the feeling as if this is one of the most definitive documentaries out there. The first portion of the film deals with the building of the ship, its take-off and of course it hitting the iceberg and the panic that followed. The second portion of the film picks off just as the ship has minutes left to float and then turns to the lands where news started to spread about the fate of the ship. We then take a look at the look for bodies, the laws that changed and who was to blame for the events. The last portion deals with the discover of the ship in 1985 and the debate on whether or not artifacts should be removed from the site. With the 100th anniversary of the sinking coming up I've been watching just about every documentary I could on the subject and this one here is without question one of the best. If you've seen enough of these documentaries or read enough books then it's doubtful you're going to learn too many new things from one to the next but I think for those unfamiliar with the events this one here will come in most handy. With that said, no matter how many different books you read or movies you see, the personal stories of those on board are just as raw and fresh no matter how many times you hear them. Survivors Millvina Dean, Edith Brown Haisman, Ruth Becker Blanchard, Eva Hart and Michel Navrati are all featured in interviews as are Dot Kendle whose mother was a survivor and Frances John Parkinson, Jr. whose father was a woodworker. We also get interviews with experts such as Wyn Wade, Walter Lord, Ken Marschall, Don Lynch, Edward Kamuda, George Behe, John P. Eaton, Charles A. Haas, Leslie Harrison, Dr. Robert Ballard and Paul-Henri Nargeolel.
Part one of the documentary does a great job at showing why the Titanic was build, everything that had to go into its production and then we go into great detail about the four days of its journey. When it came time to the iceberg we get all sorts of information and this is where the survivors stories are so heartbreaking as you hear from them telling their fathers goodbye and of course being in lifeboats and hearing people scream and drown only to then hear silence. The second portion of the film is just as good as we hear about the blame that was scattered around plus hear about myths a a mysterious third ship and the downfall to some of those who survived including Captain Lord. Hearing about his reaction to seeing his portrayal in A NIGHT TO REMEMBER was especially interesting. It's also fascinating hearing about the discovery of the Titanic as well as the thoughts on whether or not they should be bringing items up that have been on the bottom of the sea for all these decades. It appears that many of the survivors consider the place a graveyard and feel that stuff should be left alone. The documentary features several newspaper clippings as well as some beautiful drawings of the events and there's no question that this here is a perfect place for history buffs to start as well as those just starting to get into the legend.
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