fri 15/11/2019

World War Two

World on Fire, BBC One, series finale review - may this fine war drama fight on

A bit like all those people on the home front in 1940 (but only a little bit), we sit and nervously wait for news. Is World on Fire (BBC One) still listed among the living? Or even now is someone typing up the letter and sticking it in a brown...

Read more...

Caroline Moorehead: A House in the Mountains review – the women's war against Fascism

In September 1944, a heavily pregnant Resistance activist in the north of German-occupied Italy was arrested on a visit to Milan. Lisetta Giua, a law student and fiancée of the Jewish anti-Fascist chief Vittorio Foa, worked as one of hundreds of...

Read more...

Midway review - gung-ho heroes battle moribund script

Director Roland Emmerich has been trying to make this movie since the 1990s, and battled hard to raise its $100m budget from individual investors. But why? The result is an old-fashioned war film in praise of the heroic American servicemen who...

Read more...

Werewolf review - post-Holocaust horrors

There used to be this myth that we knew nothing about the concentration camps until the victors opened their gates in 1945, and that the survivors were then nursed back to health. The Russians put out newsreels filmed weeks later of nurses tending...

Read more...

World on Fire, BBC One review - more melodrama than drama

For his new drama series for BBC One, writer Peter Bowker (The A Word, Monroe etc) has taken as his canvas no less than a panorama of Europe in 1939, just as World War Two is breaking out. His principal characters include Harry Chase, a young man...

Read more...

Svetlana Alexievich: Last Witnesses: Unchildlike Stories review - anything but childish

Svetlana Alexievich’s Last Witnesses: Unchildlike Stories is a collection of oral testimonies conducted between 1978-2004 with Soviet and post-Soviet citizens who were children during the second world war. They recount strange and terrible...

Read more...

Vasily Grossman: Stalingrad review - a Soviet national epic

Stalingrad is the companion piece to Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, which on its (re)publication in English a decade ago was acclaimed as one of the greatest Russian (and not only Russian) novels of the 20th century. For its sense of the sheer...

Read more...

Blu-ray: The Night of the Generals

Anatole Litvak’s The Night of the Generals (1967), beautifully restored here to 4K, is a tortuous and at times entertaining mash-up of the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler and the murder of a prostitute in Nazi-occupied Warsaw a few years earlier....

Read more...

Small Island, National Theatre review - fun epic takes ages to warm up

Novelist Andrea Levy's 2004 masterpiece, Small Island, is a tribute to the Windrush Generation, those migrants to England from the Caribbean that came first on the HMT Empire Windrush in 1948, and then subsequently on other ships. Being British...

Read more...

The Aftermath review - it looks great but it lacks bite

Is it time for the rebirth of the old-fashioned wartime weepie? If so, this time next year The Aftermath will be dragging a clanking heap of statuettes round Hollywood, attached to the rear bumper of its 1940s army staff car. If not…A cynical person...

Read more...

Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on playing Hitler

There is nothing quite like the Iffland-Ring in this country. The property of the Austrian state, for two centuries it has been awarded to the most important German-speaking actor of the age, who after a suitable period nominates his successor and...

Read more...

Das Boot, Sky Atlantic review - menacing drama on land and sea

Wolfgang Petersen’s film Das Boot is now nearly 40 years old, but in this new TV sequel time has moved forward a mere nine months from the original story, into the autumn of 1942. Whether it’s still springtime for Hitler is moot, but the U-boat...

Read more...
Subscribe to World War Two