Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
Great historical documentary
on February 15, 2013
Excellent recap of the entire revolutionary war from start to finish. While not on par with a Ken Burns epic like "the civil war", this breaks down the revolution and shows all the key aspects of both sides, as well as the most important historical figures. It deals with the struggles and brutal conditions of both sides, and is not afraid to show the darker aspects of our founding fathers. For example, while praising George Washington for his great leadership and iron will, it notes that Washington was a slave owner who banned negro recruits from joining the army early in the revolution, even though his army was desperately short of manpower. He also resorted to capitol punishment in the army on multiple occasions when it was on the brink of collapse.
The re-enactments and done with superb quality, and match the narration quite effectively. It's nice to see what the narrator is saying play out right before your eyes. The actors are also dead ringers for the people they portray. I was particularly impressed with who they chose for Washington and Ben Franklin.
The only major complaint I have is the final two episodes. They start with Washington's 8-day journey to take up his office as the first President, but end up just being recaps of everything that happened since episode 1. While it was quite immersive to see Washington reflect on everything he had been through, there is still no getting around the fact that it's just two episodes telling us what we already know from the previous ones. I would have preferred they have used two episodes to tell us what he did as president, or gone into more detail on what happened from after the revolution to the time he became president. That wasn't a requirement for the series, as it only says it's about the revolution, but it still would have been a much better use of the final episodes then simple recaps.
But overall this is an excellent documentary at a reasonable price. If you want to learn more about the revolution, this is a pick you can't go wrong with.