[Marxism] Ruminations on WWII
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Oct 2 14:39:09 MDT 2007
Just around the time I watched Clint Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima,”
I decided to take in as much of Ken Burns’s PBS series on WWII titled
“The War” as I could bear. As should be obvious from my review of
Stephen Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan,” I am no fan of WWII nostalgia.
Turning first to Ken Burns, I must add that I not a fan of his work in
general. I found his PBS series on Jazz to be problematic as well. All
in all, I find his documentaries to wrap his subjects in a kind of
hagiographic gauze. Whether he is dealing with Duke Ellington or some
marine who killed a bunch of Japs (as the interviewees are wont to say),
you feel as if you are being introduced to a demigod. “The War” is
co-produced by Ken Burns and Sarah Botstein, the daughter of Bard
College President Leon Botstein, who also worked on “Jazz.”
I managed to watch most of three episodes of “The War”. It is a kind of
mixed bag, with the kind of hero worship found in “Band of Brothers” as
well as being focused on ordinary soldiers rather than the top generals.
It also describes WWII as a cataclysm rather than a glorious adventure.
Finally, it zeros in on the racism directed at Black and
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