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Thanks to the valiant efforts of television producers the world over (and a few dubious cable channels), you don't have to learn about the past through books.Instead, you can sit back, relax and have your history accompanied by genuine footage from the time.
The World at War is quite simply the best documentary ever made.Buy from Amazon » The single greatest propaganda film ever made, Leni Riefenstahl's account of the 1934 Nuremberg Rally is a masterpiece which partly forged the seductive and powerful image of Nazism.As such, it should be required watching for students of film, politics and world war alike, offering deep insight into Nazi culture and control, as well as answering a key question about art: it is not apolitical.Through this film, you really can begin to understand why fascism gripped much of Germany.There is footage from both Europe and the Pacific, but little from Africa, and Western Front fanatics might be disappointed.That said, this is 2 DVDs worth of film and the scenes from Nazi occupied regions are deeply affecting.
Buy from Amazon » This ten hour documentary covers a longer period than the war, focusing on Stalin’s regime, including the purges and the five year plan, and so explains how the nation that was able to defeat Hitler was bloodily forged.
There are some questionable decisions which might put you off, but otherwise it’s very good.
Approximately 32 hours long, packed with interviews from the men and women involved, conveyed entirely through real footage, narrated with suitable gravitas and boasting a script free of chauvinism, this clinical survey of the entire Second World War is mandatory for anyone claiming an above average interest in the topic.
Students may wish to focus their viewing on key episodes, but others will watch it again and again.
Buy from Amazon » I've not been able to see many of these documentaries so far, but they come highly recommended by a reader (which is how I first learnt of them) who says they are excellent. Buy from Amazon » The attraction of this DVD is simple: it's WWII in colour.
They break down key battles and areas of the Second World War and, although some prior knowledge is required to add context, they are very educational. As brilliant as ' World at War' is, many people want something more vivid and immediate than black and white footage; ' The Lost Color Archives' fills that gap with ease.