World War II: Behind Closed Doors
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Joseph Stalin - the supreme leader of the Soviet Union - was a tyrant responsible for the death of millions. Yet he also had some unlikely relationships during the Second World War. Not just with leaders of the great democracies like Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, but also with Hitler and the Nazis. For the first time on television, this ambitious series from award-winning filmmaker Laurence Rees uses exclusive evidence gained from the actual conversations and secret meetings Stalin conducted with Roosevelt, Churchill and Hitler, to dramatically reveal the true natures of the three leaders and how the meetings they had - and the decisions they made - shaped the world today.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
Should be in every library and school. The great documentary by Britsh historian Rees is a great tool for balancing all the preveous distortions of history, espacially about Poland, which deserves to be thanked and recognized as a nation that suffered os horribly and fought so bravely.
On the same theme, view Katyn about the 25,000 Polish officers Stalin had tied and shot. Also read: No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945
Rees' film is a great balancer and long overdue to portray history from a correct perspective.
Also related and superb: Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum, "The Book," on gulags.
One more: Between Nazis and Soviets: Occupation Politics in Poland, 1939-1947
All worth it, if this era interests you. These are some of the best.
Extremely compelling is the use of native actors (instead of Americans or Brits mangling foreign languages), led by the distinguished Russian actor Alexei Petrenko (who, over a 40-year career has played everyone from Svidrigailov to Peter I to Rasputin) in the role of Stalin (pictured above). The dramatic renditions are all the more fascinating when heard in the original language, as in Churchill's exchange with Stalin:
Churchill:' What did you do with all the kulaks?
Stalin:''' ''My ikh perebili''''''''. (We terminated them.)
As with any serialized documentary Behind Closed Doors often suffers from repetition of scripts and imagery across episodes, but this is overshadowed by the well-drawn characterizations, be it Stalin's Georgian-accented Russian, Ribbentrop's contemptuous gaze, Churchill's inane analogies, or Roosevelt's yearning to be liked. (As reviewed in Russian Life)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for our 16 year old son who LOVES History. He absolutely thought this was his best Christmas present this year.Published 7 months ago by Kristie Carlson
Stalin manipulations. I find Stalin the most fascinating, and evil character of the twentieth century. This film suffers from length. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a fascinating docu-drama based on true events. I thought I knew everything about WWII, but this DVD shows all de dealings "Behind Closed Doors" of the Allied... Read morePublished 13 months ago by ULRICH
Answers a lot of questions about WW2 that remain puzzling. Turns out that the allies carved up Europe and gave Stalin what he wanted. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Moraine Lake