The Pearl Harbor collection combines three different documentaries in one set; Pearl Harbor: 24 Hours After, The Pacific: Lost Evidence and Pearl Harbor: Tora Tora Tora.
The three DVDs document the attacks on Pearl Harbor from a number of different angles. The documentaries are not narrated; instead they use interviews with historians to tell the stories, as well as still images, archived footage and dramatisations.
The first documentary in the collection, ‘Pearl Harbor: 24 Hours Later’, is an account of all the events post-attack; from the moment the Japanese bombed the fleet up to the moment that President Roosevelt declared war.
Where the film really succeeds is in its ability to tell the narrative chronologically, which retains the tension of the historical event they are presenting, whilst also providing informative and detailed information on almost everything they discuss.
The editing of the interviews and the clips is fairly seamless and smooth, which helps make the film accessible and easy to follow for someone who does not already have any prior knowledge of Pearl Harbor. The historians are interesting to listen to and together they narrate the documentary concisely and captivatingly.
Visually, the documentary is vivid and striking. The contrast of black and white/colour in the pictures makes them aesthetically pleasing and maintains the viewer’s interest on screen. There is plenty of archive footage of the events, along with radio broadcasts at the time. Those, coupled with the slick dramatisations, make the documentary easy on the eye.
There are lots of extra bits of information which are very surprising, such as the president treating his sinus problem with cocaine just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. These additional facts offer the viewer some nice narrative detours.
Although the majority of the documentary is based on the political moves and debates, the events on the ground are not glossed over. Updates on the death toll and the horror of what was happening at the harbour and in the medical centres are given in writing on the screen, accompanied by a very emotive musical score and sharp images. It really does give the tragedy the respect it deserves whilst also maintaining the focus on the President, his advisors and the general politics surrounding the event.
The Pacific: Lost Evidence, in contrast to ‘24 Hours After’, shifts the focus onto the horrific event itself. This documentary is done in the same manner as ‘24 Hours’ however, which once again provides the right amount of story telling and interesting factual information.
The focus this time however is firmly on the facts, as the historians discuss aspects of the attack which are seldom mentioned or have only recently been discovered. This makes for an eye-opening documentary in which the already compelling subject matter is bolstered further by little known facets of information and extremely intriguing pieces of evidence that peak the viewer’s interest.
The final documentary in the collection, ‘Pearl Harbor: Tora Tora Tora’ presents interviews with surviving troops and witnesses of the attack. This adds yet another dimension to the Pearl Harbor collection and is the most emotionally driven documentary of the set, providing a fantastic compliment to the other films.
To be in with a chance of winning a copy of the Pearl Harbor Collection, just answer the following question:
What were F D Roosevelt’s first and middle names?
A) Francis Dean
B) Franklin DelanoC) Frederick David
Send your answers with your name, address and contact number to email@example.com. The deadline for entries is Sunday 28th October 2012.
The Pearl Harbor collection is available from Amazon.co.uk, RRP £19.99.