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We Were There

We Were There captures the voices of America’s greatest generation, as they share their stories of duty, service, and responsibility during World War II. While the tumultuous global events of the early 1940’s provide the backdrop for this film, it is the men and women recalling their personal stories who take center stage. The lives and experiences of these veterans from every branch of the service quickly become the heart of this riveting independent documentary. Color and B&W.

  • Item 501740D
  • Region: All
  • Media Type: DVD
  • Running Time: 103 min

Alternate formats: Digital Video - $5.99

Retail: $19.99
Price: $9.99
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Description

We Were There captures the voices of America’s greatest generation, as they share their stories of duty, service, and responsibility during World War II. While the tumultuous global events of the early 1940’s provide the backdrop for this film, it is the men and women recalling their personal stories who take center stage. The lives and experiences of these veterans from every branch of the service quickly become the heart of this riveting independent documentary. Color and B&W.

Editorial Reviews

An oral history of World War II told by veterans (with a bit of stock footage thrown in), We Were There is a remarkably moving documentary that eschews facts and figures for personal anecdotal accounts of battle, with many men unburdening themselves of painful memories for the first time. Presented in loose chronology, the film begins with recollections of what these interviewees were doing when they received news about Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and how each of them—barely more than boys—wound up in one or another branch of the military, often for precise reasons such as possessing a skill set (truck mechanics, engineering) that was useful to the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, or Marines. From there, the stories diverge as combat action took different forms. A former pilot talks about being shot down over Italy, and—badly injured and attacked by locals—being rescued by German soldiers who placed him in a hospital where he was hidden by a doctor. A D-Day survivor recalls the thousands of men, including his captain, killed even before reaching the shore in Normandy (the memory of his fear still brings him to the brink of tears). And various ex-sailors speak of the horror of Japanese pilots crashing their warplanes into American ships. Spirited defenses are made of why it was necessary (so the argument goes) to drop two atomic bombs on Japan to prevent the many more deaths that would have occurred had America and its allies launched a conventional invasion. Serving up powerful testimonials from WWII survivors, this is highly recommended.

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