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Genre: Documentary, TV series, History
Country: United States
Voices: Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Oliver Platt, Adam Arkin, Josh Lucas, Keith David
Director: Ken Burns
Run time: 14 hours
DVD distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
At the outset of The War, Ken Burns says that the story of America’s involvement in the second world war is way too big to tell in one documentary. That kind of gave me pause. This is Ken Burns talking here. The same Ken Burns who went into staggering detail telling the entire story of the civil war over the course of more than ten hours. Who spent more than eighteen hours poring over the minutiae of baseball in one of the greatest documentaries ever filmed. And with fourteen hours of documentary filming, he can’t tell the entire story of America’s four-year involvement in the second world war? C’mon Ken Burns, I expect better of you!
Now, that being said, he IS probably right. And there IS an awful lot of information crammed into The War. America was fighting on MANY fronts in the second world war, against the Germans in Europe and Africa, and against the Japanese all over the Pacific. Burns focuses on four small American towns in the film, following the soldiers who left from those towns to serve their countries in various battlefields. It’s a fascinating look at life in America during war time, and it’s something I haven’t seen before in a World War II documentary. After all, we know that the Americans got into the war with Pearl Harbour, and that they ended the war with the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, but it’s what happened in between that’s absolutely fascinating. And there’s no one better to tell that story than Ken Burns. The War is available on Blu-Ray May 15th. And like I have said about every other monumental documentary Ken Burns has ever done, go pick it up!