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Amerika (TV miniseries)


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Editorial Reviews

The most ambitious American miniseries ever created, it is the provocative saga of the Soviet takeover of the United States, a time that pits American ideals against a reign of tyranny. But more importantly, it is an absorbing drama about real people - representing all of us - and how they cope with the reality of losing their cherished heritage. Amerika criticized American society in the 1980s, implying that apathy and an unwillingness to defend freedom on the part of many citizens made the Soviet takeover rather easy. At one point, a key Soviet official observes that their plans for conquering the United States succeeded far beyond their wildest dreams, because once the nation had been defeated, Americans turned inward, not caring about national issues, seeking only to retain a piece of the prosperity that had once been theirs. "It (the Soviet coup) worked because you lost your country before we ever got here," says the Soviet leader. "You had political freedom, but you lost your passion ... How could we not win?" At the time it was telecast, Amerika was the most controversial television event ever broadcast by ABC. The network received more mail and phone calls about Amerika before it was on the air than the total pre- and post-broadcast viewer reaction of any other program in the history of ABC, including the end of the world story, The Day After. The critics of Amerika came from all sides of the political spectrum. The liberals feared the program would antagonize the Kremlin, jeopardize arms control and détente. The right thought the miniseries inadequately portrayed the brutality of the U.S.S.R. The United Nations thought the movie would erode its image. Amerika, USA 2008 miniseries, 720 minutes

Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O8ALBU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,072 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

If you can find a copy GET IT!!!
American
The actors who play the pro-Soviet American Quisling politicians are even more frightening in their authenticity than the Soviet troops.
Roger J. Buffington
In the end, both Kristofferson and Urich's characters, driven by their own idealism, are too lacking in pragmatism to succeed.
R. A Forczyk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The "Amerika" miniseries is the story of a Soviet occupation of the United States circa 1988. Evidently (the series is a little vague about this) the Soviets explode Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons over the United States, leading to a breakdown in communications and an end to US military capability. The Soviets occupy the USA with United Nations Special Service Unit (UNSSU) soldiers, and America undergoes "The Transition" which is essentially a transition, aided by Gulag-style concentration camps and Leftist American Quisling politicians, to Soviet-style Socialism. The Soviets divide the country into "Administrative Areas" under the domination of the "American Unity Party" which in reality is the Communist Party. The President and Congress become figureheads to the Soviet National and Area "Advisors."

The story is ultimately inspiring. Kris Kristofferson stars as Devin Milford, a charismatic American politician who had been jailed in the American Gulag following "The Transition." He seeks to oppose the Soviet plans for America. Most of the best scenes in this film involve Kristofferson, particularly the inspiring scene in front of a Chicago Federal Courthouse in which Kristofferson rouses the crowd by reciting the now-forbidden Pledge of Allegiance. This scene is brilliantly acted and directed, and the reaction of the crowd, which finally acknowledges the love that most citizens ultimately have for the America that the Founders envisioned, is unforgettable.

The special effects in this film are outstanding. The UNSSU troops and equipment appear frighteningly real, and the downtrodden American "Zeks" and Exiles look authentic. The actors who play the pro-Soviet American Quisling politicians are even more frightening in their authenticity than the Soviet troops.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on January 17, 2010
Just finished watching all five episodes of the 1987 alternate history film Amerika, which portrays life in Soviet-occupied America ten years after the Federal Government has effectively surrendered. As drama, Amerika rarely rises above the pedestrian and sees words, rather than actions, as the main ingredient of resistance to foreign oppression. For many viewers, this results in a very tedious exposition, interspersed with occasional acts of violence but with the emphasis upon internal debate. Those who put Amerika together want to pose the question (again and again) about what it means to be an American (short answer: it's not a flag or the land, but "us" and how can we give "us" up?). Kris Kristofferson, cast as a semi-rehabilitated congressman who once dared to question the easy slide into totalitarianism, leads the charge to revive the American spirit while his former friend, Robert Urich, opts into the Soviet scheme to Balkanize the United States by dividing it into weaker, more easily manipulated client states. There is some real drama here and even some important issues, but it seems at points like Amerika is held together more with spit and good intentions, rather than solid writing, directing or acting. Overall, Amerika provides an interesting look at an alternate outcome, putting the lie to the assertion that `the opposite of war is peace' and poses questions about where our loyalties lie that are likely uncomfortable for some Americans today. Obviously, this is a very controversial film, which is what makes it worth watching.

Given the conflict between those who would tear down the old United States and replace it with a Communist puppet state, Amerika does not really delve into some of the meat-and-potatoes issues of resistance.
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38 of 51 people found the following review helpful By pareto on January 1, 2009
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I bought this dvd version quickly, fearing that those who had kept it off dvd would not tolerate its
existence in the market long. I was correct. Amazon declares itself now out of stock. The quality is good, about the same as the very expensive vhs collectible. I paid Amazon $35 for the new dvd version (during the brief window of availability). It is worth much more than that. I would advise interested persons to
try for a used copy before that too becomes unavailable.

Having spent some years on the dark side of the Iron Curtain, I was amazed to see how well Donald Wrye has constructed his "What If?" tale. This is the way Russians behave on their good days. AMERIKA presents a sanitized version of the way Russia has, under csar and commissar, ruthlessly crushed other cultures and civilizations. For two centuries Russia expanded its control by the land size of a Belgium per year. It has never produced anything anyone wanted beyond raw materials, these from stolen lands. It has prospered by the ability of its army to take goods from other countries. It is instructive for Americans to see what might have been their fate had Russia dealt with them as they had with Poles, Estonians, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Tartars, Chechens, Khazhaks, Azeris, Armenians, Georgians, Chechs, Slovaks, Lativaks, Yakuts. Just watching AMERIKA gives one a feeling of gratitude to Reagan, JP II, Solidarity, the American people, and the others who brought the Evil Empire down.

Looking at our own present situation in America, I suppose one reason that dvds of Amerika have been suppressed is that the Neocons have been taking over America in ways not dissimilar to those of the Soviet Union in the movie.
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