Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historically informative and emotionally engaging, 3 Jun. 2013
This review is from: 1914 - 1918 : The Great War And The Shaping Of The 20th Century [DVD] (DVD)
This superb BBC series, first shown on TV in 1996 and now digitally restored on DVD, tells the tragic story of the First World War from the perspective of the soldiers, civilians, military leaders, artists, poets and politicians who experienced it first hand. Drawing on over six years of research, the seven episode series is one of the most moving, absorbing and poignant accounts of the Great War you're likely to see. Wonderfully narrated by Dame Judi Dench and cleverly edited to ensure a sense of melancholy pervades every episode, this high quality production is both historically informative and emotionally engaging.

A who's who of talented actors including Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, Rupert Graves, Helen Mirren and Helena Bonham-Carter read from letters, diaries, poems and books to reveal the terrible sense of loss, pain and sorrow experienced by many of those involved in this awful conflict while leading historians such as Orlando Figes, Niall Ferguson and Robert K Massie assess the military, political and cultural impact of the war. There is also a BBC book which accompanies the series.

This is an excellent DVD which, in my opinion, fully deserves five stars. However, because it is so heavily focused on the human cost of the war, some people may find it a little too emotive if viewed in isolation. To fully appreciate the very worthwhile angle of "1914-1918" it's probably best watched in conjunction with another series - such as the BBC's masterpiece from 1964 The Great War or Channel 4's highly rated 2003 production The First World War - both of which cover the conflict from a more traditional angle.
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Lance Grundy
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Location: Great Britain

Top Reviewer Ranking: 978