Skip to comments."The War" PBS Production
Posted on 10/05/2007 4:54:09 AM PDT by SMARTY
I am just asking if anyone at this site has watched the Ken Burns/PBS program recently aired, "The War". I have been surprised that no one here has commented about the production.
I Tivo-ed the entire series but so far just haven’t had time to watch it yet. If it’s anywhere near as good as his previous Civil War effort, I’m sure it will be outstanding.
I liked it despite Ken Burns penchant for overemphasizing his PBS hot buttons. I thought it conveyed what it was like during the war.
I spoke to my mother about it and she said it took her back to that time.
For a complete history, including aspects seldom mentioned in the US, the preeminent series is still The World at War. It was done over 30 years ago, and many more participants were still alive then for interview. It is better for history.
The Ken Burns version focuses on the personal or individual experiences, with lots of anecdotes, and is very moving. It also revives events which have been largely forgotten over the years. It is very good, but you still must get The World at War.
All the vets I’ve spoken to said the series was a pretty accurate rendering of WW2 - not only in the various theaters of the war, but here at home in the old USA.
The best episode was the final one. Listening to the veterans speak of their time in the service, and their return home was heartrending. I nearly wept listening to them.
I don’t agree with Mr. Burns on a lot of things concerning the current war against terror, but I think he did a fine job with “The War”.
I watched some of it, dvr’d the whole thing for an upcoming 15 hr and 24 hr flight.
What I saw was fascinating, awesome, educational and very patriotic. It was good enough that I missed the season opener for “Heroes”, “Desperate Housewives”, and “Dancing With The Stars”...so, yeah, it was GOOD!
Check your local PBS station schedule for reruns...this Sunday mine is re-running the last few episodes, so I can dvr the one(the last one) that SOMEBODY here messed up by turning off one of the machines.
Must see TV!
The episodes I caught were very good. The footage from the Bulge was heart wrenching. I think it came out on DVD Tuesday didn’t it?
I didn’t watch all of it but most of the episodes that covered D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. I had always thought that the “bulge” referred to some land formation that looked like a bulge but now I know what it really was. One thing that really struck me was that he said the battle lasted 6 weeks and 19,000 Americans died. Although it is very very sad that any soldier dies in war,that and the numbers from other battles really puts some perspective on the death count in Iraq.
Too heavy on the “America was a baaad country” because of segregation and the internment camps. If you want a war epoch that focuses on aggrieved minorities, this is the one for you.
We have enjoyed it. Always a little skeptical of PBS, though. I have been repeatedly amazed that none of the 80-something-year-old veterans ever mention their faith.
Well, that is exactly what I was thinking. So much of it was off the mark.
For me “World at War” is still THE definitive piece on WWII... in style, content...everything. And of course, Sir Oliver could not have been a better choice for narrator. I remember watching it with my father, a WWII veteran. He was quiet but impressed with it.
Actually, with ‘The War’ by Ken Burns, I kept waiting for the thing to work. I tried to see it the way a young person would, who possessed only an incomplete or distorted understanding of the facts. I wanted to see if Burns would say anything to convey what my personal knowledge and education has taught me about the period.
Burns seemed bound and determined to present the thing as if events took place in a political vacuum. He tried, and I think succeeded in presenting a ‘LOOK MAGAZINE’ picture of the war. I mean, there was not a lot of depth there but instead, plenty of graphics and firsthand dialogue about events. That’s good, and in keeping with his plan to record veterans and others recollections but how do you recount the social/military/economic monolith of the 20th century while avoiding mention of the contemporaneous politics? Most of the true dimension of the times was left unexpressed because of Burns’ determination to make the telling as apolitical as possible. The effort seemed a little maladroit coming from him and it was emotionally and historically flat. There was a slight wheel wobble to the whole thing.
Where have you been the last couple of weeks? There have been numerous threads on the program. It was on FR that I first learned about it. The only problem with the program is it comes on during prime-time and my wife is not crazy about war documentaries, and asking her to sit through seven nights of it would of been not good for a happy home. Thankfully I was able to record it to DVD for viewing on my own time.
True, but my understanding is that although small in number they punched far above their weight (Navajo code-talkers, Tuskeegee fighter pilots, the tank regiment that fought under Patton). Kinda like the Canadians.
I know an 80+ year old man who was in the Battle of the Bulge. He references his faith whenever he refers to the war. As you suggested, footage of this nature probably ended up on the floor or they just didn't interview the right people.
This was not a documentary about the war. As was stated at the start of each episode, it is the story of four American towns and their citizens, those that served and those who were on the home front, during the war.
The basic premis of this was far different from that of “Civil War” and “World At War.”
When I saw the name “The War” and the location on public TV I just assumed that it would be anti-Iraq propaganda and never checked it out.
I seldom bother with public television any more.
If you read what I said again, I think you will see that I clearly GAVE him that...because I comprehend very well what he attempted.... as he said several times himself. He succeeded in THAT, period... but nothing more. My further assessment compared it to ‘World at War’because though many individual firsthand accounts were given in THAT production as well, it went beyond those accounts and succeeded on several levels. It had much more dimension, was much more dramatic and instructive. A better production all around as was ‘Civil War’ and for the same reason... though no first hand accounts were used, many historians and scholars contributed and were part of the structure of the production.
Also, ‘Civil War’ was not strictly about abolition.... but the issue was included ... see what I mean??? And ‘Civil War’ was a better production for its breadth. I think that is what I stated
You’re Wrong. My father was Navy WWII, Father-in-law a marine on Iwo Jima, I’m a VN vet 68-71. None of us believers in the magic sky fairy. Two good friends in VN full Indians, Not christian. I’m an atheist and have been.
SO while I’m sure you are correct in the majority, there certainly are atheists in foxholes. I was one and know many others.
"It was a different time, you understand."
I watched the series and wondered, did the United States win the war? Seems like Burns stories were predominantly about battles that were the worst for the United States military.
While I salute you and your family for serving I find your description a bit disrespectful. Have your opinion known but your descriptive comment lacks maturity and respect for others beliefs. Fine, do not believe, but please do not denigrate.
If Ken Burns had been around during “The War” we would surely have lost.
Thank you and you’re welcome.
oh8elevens’ blanket statement that there are no atheists in foxholes is insulting and degrading to the many atheists, non-Christian people who served. It gets my goat when idiots like that make obviously false blanket statements because of his particular superstition. Believe whatever you want. Just don’t assume everybody else does.
It is obvious you did not read my post. It is #28, 2 above this one. Again, you denigrate. Just because you do not believe do not use a blanket statement that we believe in a superstition or the magic sky fairy. You want us to show you respect for you non believers, then show some to us.