The Complete Mini-series Event

DVD - 2016
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Beginning in the frenzied final months of World War II, the film rockets back and forth between Truman, Churchill, and Hirohito to reach behind the headlines and see the story of the men and women, both public and private, whose lives and careers would be forever changed by this event.


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May 19, 2019

If you're like me, you've read and watched a lot of material about the Manhattan project and the bombing of Hiroshima, but this 3-hour 1995 mini-series had me riveted with information and perspectives I hadn't gotten anywhere else. It has the feel of a documentary, with lots of snippets of original footage integrated so seamlessly you feel you're watching the drama unfold in real time. For example, I've seen lots of photos of Truman as president but not amid footage of 1940s Washington DC street scenes - I found it very powerful.

What really makes this video so amazing, though, is its even-handedness: the American cast of characters are all there, but so are the top Japanese officials, including Emperor Hirohito. The meetings and discussions in Japan were filmed in Japan by Japanese filmmakers, and the dialog is in Japanese with English subtitles. We don't just watch Truman struggle with his advisors over wartime decisions, we see Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki do the same.

This isn't an American film - it's Canadian. Reviewers have noted that may account for the balance of perspectives as well as the infighting among the U.S. characters. We aren't good at showing our WWII selves as anything but heroes who saved the world.


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