The Second World War in Colour (1999)

TV Mini-Series  - 
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9 September 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Anden verdenskrig i farver  »

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(3 episodes)

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Very strong, especially in certain context
7 January 2009 | by (Konstanz, Germany) – See all my reviews

Black and white vs. color: a debate that has been raging since color photography and cinematography was feasible, in the 1930s.

This miniseries makes a point of presenting WWII in period color only, as opposed to the wealth of b&w material we have seen, e.g. the Why We Fight series. Most of it (maybe except the Soviet parade parts) are probably amateur films, silent and 16mm, I suppose.

The editing of such color rarities (few people could afford a film camera in the 1930s, and even less color film) is quite admirably done here, and shows many surprising sights, especially of wartime civilian life in France and Britain. Add to that the diary and letter readings, and even the background music - a very strong retelling, in all.

But what struck me most was the pairing - I got part 1 of this series on an add-on DVD from AudioVideoPhoto Bild, a German consumer magazine that I only buy for the DVD, and otherwise throw away mostly unread. The 2/2009 featured movie was American History X (with its own b&w vs. color contrast) , and Colour of War 1 was just thrown in as extra.. But it gave me much more food for thought to see the two as a double-feature: swastikas, images of Hitler, brutal violence, from two very different edges.


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