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Great War Diaries [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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  • Great War Diaries [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Jan Peter
  • Writers: Jan Peter, Yury Winterberg
  • Producers: Gunnar Dedio
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Sept. 2014
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KYPB41K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,214 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

History tells us “what was”. It tells us when things happened. When kings and cultures lived and died, armies were raised and vanquished, and mighty empires rose and fell. History, as we know it from books, is often boring, for it fails to answer one very simple question: What was it like?

When war broke out in Europe in July 1914, people on all sides believed it would be over by Christmas. Little could they know just how wrong they were. By November 1918, ten million people had died, and the political map of the world had been re-drawn. Caught up in the middle of this chaos were millions of ordinary men, women and children. Their very lives changed in ways they could never have imagined.

This is their story.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw part of this set as a series of TV programmes some time ago, but missed the whole series. I'm pleased to find this set of 4 DVDs with a running time of 175 minutes which seems to be the entire series. It's a mix of real footage and factual drama, with each account based on the narrative of real diaries from the time. It's a truly absorbing and compelling cross section of history, with the real life experiences of numerous individuals brought vividly to life. There's an Austrian soldier, who, captured by the Russians, believes he's on his way home, but then realizes the train is travelling east towards Siberia and the Gulag. Or the young lady who stood in front of a train and demanded to be a Cossack.

Rather than the usual format of restored film footage with a voice over narrative, this series uses contemporary journals as the basis for each story and reconstructs the record with a mix of contemporaneous footage and acted scenes. The mix works very well and brings a vibrancy and realism to genuine accounts by ordinary people. Some moved to extraordinary acts to serve their country.

Another review suggests that this set is incomplete. As far as I'm aware, it's the entire series. The Imperial War Museum has DVDs that include diaries which may be of interest if you find this period of social history interesting.
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great
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I have only one criticism. Why are we not able to have the full eight episodes? I feel cheated. The French and German DVDs do, and the American version appears to, running at 416 minutes (the German listing is for 432 - what are we missing here?) I am ordering this from Amazon.com in the hope that it doesn't come with American accents - here's hoping... The production itself was rivetting, touching and made one want to know more about the characters. Perhaps seeing the whole work will fill in the gaps.
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Format: DVD
'14 Diaries of the Great War' offers what its title promises: the account of ordinary people's adventures during the 1914-1918 war. Brought to you in a realistic way, well acted + lavishly merged with original footage from those terrible years.

Focused in this way, this 3-DVD-set only uses 'Great History' to support its ordinary people-stories of misfortune, dirt, death, grief and suffering. The chosen presentation is highly enrichened by a careful choice of its participants from many belligerent countries, including some of Eastern Europe. As well as by thoughtfully arranging their stories in chapters like 'the onslaught', the 'heart's desire' and 'the home front'.

Underlining its approach even more, '14 Diaries of the Great War' also emphasizes on how World War 1 severely broke people's attitudes towards life & society. This war cruelly shattered their well-reasoned optimism for mankind's bright future -- an optimism that was never fully restored.

Being an international co-production from more that 15 tv-companies. '14 Diaries of the Great War' shows as epic as German productions like 'die Flucht' (2007) and 'Unsere Mutter, unsere Vater' (2013) -- both dealing with the Second World War. All productions convincingly tell you how common life must have been in the 20th century's two most terrible wars.
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Format: DVD
The diaries are not meant to be a history in the text book sense by trying to cover all the historical details. I was amazed by the personal story of each character. The acting was wonderful and the sets so real. I have seen plenty of WWI black and white footage, but I haven't seen old b&w footage incorporated with modern day drama in color. This series helped me realize the horror of the First World War through the eyes of the diarists - the citizens. I appreciated the ending. I have been compelled to learn more about the people portrayed. Excellent, just plain excellent.
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This was really well done. The perspectives of different people living far from one another, all of death, loss and waste, testify to just how destructive and filled with despair this war was for so long.
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This was very well done. Vivid reconstruction and portrayal of the human costs of the so called 'War to End All Wars'. Congrats and thank you Jan Peter.
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