Civil War, The

MPAA Rating: G

Entertainment: +4

Content: +4

Abraham Lincoln. Jefferson Davis. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Ulysses S. Grant. These great figures of American history have been preserved in the award-winning Public Broadcasting epic entitled THE CIVIL WAR, which is now available on home video. This 10 tape series combines antique photographs and detailed descriptions and maps for a powerful historical documentary. The producers do an outstanding job of weaving together a number of elements to set the mood for the piece. Using excerpts from diaries, creative voice-over enhancements and period music, this crucial era of American history is brought to life for modern viewers. The first episode, "The Cause 1861," sets the stage for the Civil War, discussing those factors which sparked the first battles and the key leaders of each side. The second episode, "A Very Bloody Affair 1862," details how the focus of the war shifted from preserving the Union to emancipating the slaves. Warfare was catapulted into the modern age as iron ships and machine guns were invented. These weapons of destruction caused the battles to become more intense, resulting in the deaths of as many as 30% of the soldiers.

Although the pace of THE CIVIL WAR may be considered slow by some viewers, the patient ones will find great rewards in this first-rate production. There were no objectionable elements in the two volumes screened by the reviewer.

Preview Reviewer: Krista Kay Bontrager
Pacific Arts Video Publishing (available in video stores)

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