“In the process of this battle we took about 18 or 19 German prisoners. A young man approximately 24 years of age turned to me, and in a voice completely accent-free, he said, “Where are you from?” I said, “I’m from the United States.” “Where… in the United States?” “The Northeast,” I said. “Where Northeast?” I said, “I’m from Connecticut.” “Where in Connecticut?” He was persisting. I said “Yes, I’m from Waterbury, Connecticut.” “Ah, yes,” he said, “Waterbury, at the junction of the Naugatuck and Mad Rivers.” Now you have to know a bit about the area. The Naugatuck is a fairly substantial river, but the Mad River is a little stream that you can jump across without any trouble. Anyone who knew this… I was puzzled. I said, “How did you possibly know that?” He said, “I was in training for the administration.” “The administration of what?” I said. He said, “The administration of the territories.” My blood ran cold. I couldn’t imagine that Hitler, in his wildest imagination, not only had figured he practically had Europe in his grasp, but he also figured that he would control America, too.” – Ray Leopold
Number of Times Seen – 1 (27 Feb 2019)
Brief Synopsis – Documentary that gives us a comprehensive look at the American participation in World War II from the perspective of 4 towns across the country.
My Take on it – Surprisingly, I hadn’t heard of this documentary series until very recently when fellow movie blogger Rachel of Rachel’s Reviews mentioned it during a podcast.
I was immediately enthralled to see what it was about especially since I just recently watched Ken Burns’ documentary on The Vietnam War (2017) and was so impressed with the way he was able to put such a comprehensive and complex story together so succinctly.
This was such an amazing film to watch largely due to the fact that they were able to show how the war progressed over the years by using a very unique method of giving the viewer a small taste of things which helps understand how far reaching this war was on Americans souls no matter their race or creed or even where they live.
This film takes an example of 4 communities around the country and shows how the War affected the people of those areas.
The interviews with these veterans, family members and others who lived through those days gives us a great overview of what life was like for these people during those difficult days.
Even though we only get to see the viewpoint of these 4 communities, it is quite easy to see based on the way these people were affected how impactful this War was on things from a National scale.
The progress of the war on multiple fronts is shown splendidly and they do it in a way that allows us to see and understand how good and bad decisions were made during the course of the fighting and how they affecting things along the way.
This film utilizes very graphic footage of the war both with personal photographs and videos and archival information in order to show how brutal the fighting and the results were.
I was constantly amazing at how much video was shot of some of the battles and campaigns that were fought along the way and it helps so much to show the kind of situations that these soldiers encountered along the way that ended up affected most of those both physically and psychologically.
As amazing and comprehensive as this film is, it constantly leaves the viewer wanting to learn and hear about even more stories from these situations.
The personal stories told here are just the tip of the tip of the tip (etc) of the millions upon millions of stories that could be told about the experiences of the millions of Americans who took part in this very global conflict.
This is by far the best film of 2007 (IMHO) and I have a feeling that it will be quite difficult for another film to come and top it.
I’m really glad that I finally got this chance to see this spectacular film that will stay with me for quite some time because it is so powerful.
Bottom Line – Amazing documentary that is able to show the way that the War progressed in a somewhat unique way in order to give us just a small taste of how these years affected so many people no matter their race or creed or where they lived. So impressive how comprehensive this film is since they have so many interviews with people who were scattered across the globe during the war yet all had connections to these 4 small areas of the country which shows how impactful it all was on a National level. They do a super job showing the progress of the war on multiple fronts while still making sure that we can understand both the good and bad decisions made along the way. The footage shown is quite graphic and it’s unbelievable that they were able to find so much film of so many of the battles that were waged and catalog them so well while telling this story. As amazing as this is, it leaves the viewer wanting even more because the personal stories told here are the tip of the tip of the tip (etc) of the millions of stories that can be told of what Americans experienced during this global conflict. BY far the best film of 2007 and I’m so glad that I finally got to see this. Highly Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In describing the Battle of Midway, Midway is described as being the “westernmost Japanese occupied island in the Pacific.” In fact, Midway was always a US possession and was never held by the Japanese (one of the main purposes of the battle from the Japanese point of view was to capture the island) and even if it was, it would have been the eastern, not the western-most of their possessions. (From IMDB)
Rating –Oscar Worthy (10/10)
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