Posted by: sommecourt | 13/07/2012

Review: A War To End All Wars

This documentary is in fact two separate films and takes a narrative approach in following the story of the British experience of the First World War. It is presented by Robin Thompson, described as a broadcaster, but someone I am not familiar with personally. It includes contributions from others, variously described as military historians, although they do not appear to be published or have a high profile online. That aside, it is not a bad little tale, following the story of fighting at Arras and the Somme, and also in Flanders. It includes some well shot material of the ground today along with relevant archive and will certainly be of interest to those who travel to the battlefields today. In places it’s history is a bit questionable, using phrases like “lambs to the slaughter” and taking an often rhetorical approach to the conduct of the war. I am also not so sure about the presenter and contributors suddenly being transformed into actors in a sepia filmed sequence in a WW1 trench; that came across as a bit odd and the way it was ‘acted’ was a little wooden. However, the films highlight some areas not normally seen in the average documentary and the films present an interesting couple of hours viewing.

The DVD is available from Wiener Films online at:


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