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The Last Voices of WWI - A Generation Lost

4.6 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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(Mar 22, 2011)
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Frequently Bought Together

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Total price: $42.44
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Editorial Reviews

Horrors of World War I are relived as last survivors tell their tales in this new series

The Last Voices of WWI is a unique and harrowing six-part documentary series featuring testimonials from more than 100 WWI veterans. This culmination of interviews captured over the last 15 years has been put together in one series for the first time, along with historic newsreel footage and dramatic reconstructions.

Winner of a Royal Television Society Documentary Award (2009), this breathtaking series is praised for providing a unique historical record of a lost generation.

Aired on the History Channel UK, 2008

Produced by multi-award winning documentarians testimony films

Features the first ever interview with Harry Patch and the only ever interview with Henry Allingham, the two last surviving veterans of the war and oldest men in the world at the respective ages of 111 and 113


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 221 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004HHX9XC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,365 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I picked up this DVD at Target for $5 on a whim and was thrilled with it's content. The personal testimonies from veterans were remarkable. All of those interviewed were in their 90s or 100s and each recounted vividly their rememberances of the war. It was startling and touching. I also found it fascinating to hear from the nurses and stretcher bearers; a perspective which is not often touched upon in books or other documentaries. I highly recommend this volume and it is more than worth the price.
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This is a very well produced and valuable program that honors and preserves the history and sacrifice of British soldiers during World War One. Veterans, some well into 100+ years of age, were interviewed over a 15 year period. Harry Patch aged 111 and Henry Allingham aged 113 are featured as well as the Battles of the Somme, Arras and Ypres. The RFC/RNAS/RAF is nicely represented! The program has six episodes, slightly less than 4 hours of interviews, archival film footage and reenactments that complement the story. I particulary enjoyed watching and listening to how the veterans related their stories. This program is a must have for anyone with an interest in World War One! Other DVD programs that I recommend are The First World War - The Complete Series The Complete Story: World War I and World War I: The Great War.
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The on camera interviews with the surviving veterans as well as a few family members of those who did not survive and civilians who experienced the war is an invaluable historical resource. The camera work of the interviews is well done and the inclusion of photographs of the veterans as young men is a very nice touch. The documentary also makes good use of archival motion picture footage of that period. Unfortunately the DVDs contain no close captioning.

People with hearing impairment will find the documentary quite disappointing and people with no hearing will find it useless. The interviewed veterans were quite long in years when the interviews were conducted so quite naturally many did not articulate clearly and some spoke with dialect accents which some viewers even with normal hearing will find difficult to understand. Given that this is a rather recent production I find the lack of CC to be quite surprising. I wish I could be able to give this documentary five stars, however as it exists now I can only give it three. I can only hope that someday it is re-edited and released with closed captioning.
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This is a very well produced and very decently priced documentary, that covers the whole war from a personal, British, point of view. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality for the price, and these personal accounts by veterans, whom are no longer with us, are priceless. You will not be disappointed. You have accounts here from veterans who, in many cases, survived the whole war, from 1914 to 1918. There is a veteran who still felt patriotic about having served in the war and another who thought it was all an entire waste. You also have accounts by a nurse, recounting her experiences with the wounded and the dying. This will make a great addition to anyone's collection of The Great War.
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Only the British would have had the foresight of interviewing these men before they left us. Honest truth about their lives in the trenches, their thoughts on the war then and at the end of their lives. Not only a lesson on war, but real hitory from the real source. Narration is perfect for setting up the interviewee comments. 1914 to 1918 covered, different viewpoints revealed... a must have for any real WW1 history buff. Miss these guys and I never met them.
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It's a pet peeve of mine and maybe a few others share it: Re-enactors. The documentary footage, the still photographs and, of course, the men interviewed make this very compelling. But throughout the narrative the producers spliced in endless footage of modern-day re-enactors. The sense of viewing the past is broken every time they did it and they did it a lot. Why do I want to watch some modern-day young guy dressed up it WWI kit and playing at war? I was very disappointed when I saw The History Channel had a hand in making this it became obvious, because the History Channel does exactly the same thing. That's why I never watch The History Channel. There is no shortage of film and still photography from the Great War. There was no reason to do this except someone must think if it isn't in color the audience will switch it off. That's nonsense, of course. I would gladly have given this five stars if they had just thrown all the re-enactor footage in the trash. So, bottom line: It's worth watching, absolutely. But they added elements that weren't needed. That drooped it down to three stars for me. Pity.
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A piece of very important history seen through the eyes of men who were there. These men are gone now, and this sort of record is priceless. For anyone you know who enjoys history, this is a one-of-a-kind gift.
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I see that this DVD set has been reduced to a blowout price - six bucks. There is something both eloquent and appalling in that, as we approach the 100th anniversary of the start of `the war to end all wars.' The BBC taped these interviews in the late 90s, in anticipation of the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day (November 11, 1918). Time was running out for the survivors of the Great War - infantry soldiers (volunteers and conscripts), officers, sailors, pilots, nurses, medics, armament factory workers, wives and family members. Those interviewed are 'old parties' - in their late 90s, verging on 100. All died before final edit and release of the program. While there are a few London aristocrats, most speak with the broad accents of the north country. Before the war, they led modest lives: insurance clerk, shoe repairman, farm laborer or simply unemployed. For many, military service was an escape from a dead-end existence.

Their voices are the substance of the program; they are heard not just for the last time but the first time, as well. These men and women had held their awful memories and crushing losses in stoic silence, for a lifetime. It never occurred to them that they might have a chance to say something or that anyone would be interested; without exception, they speak clearly and honestly. There's no point in giving a chapter-by-chapter guide; get the program. I should note that it can also be listened to, from start to finish, without a single visual image. This can be used as a follow-up, for a second or even third take. Throughout 2 discs and 6 chapters (3½ hours), there is an over-arching theme: the journey - both national and personal - from self-confidence to mute terror to disillusionment and finally hopelessness and desperation.
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