The Long Shadow

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History Documentary hosted by David Reynolds, published by BBC in 2014 - English narration

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David Reynolds traces the legacy of the Great War across 100 years and 10 different countries, examining how the war haunted a generation and shaped the peace that followed.

[edit] Remembering and Understanding

David Reynolds shows how the common perception of the Great War as futile slaughter has been moulded over time. The image of mud and trenches, poets and poppies was not the general view in the 1920s and 1930s, but developed after the Second World War and, most of all, through popular depictions of the war from the 1960s. Reynolds gets to the roots of shifting public memory by comparing the British and German sense of what the Great War meant right back in its immediate aftermath. Britain invested in the diplomatic ideals of the League of Nations and Reynolds charts the extraordinary popularity of disarmament movements. For many British people, the terrible sacrifice would not have be in vain if the Great War proved be the war to end war. Reynolds tells the story of the Peace Ballot of 1935, which attracted an extraordinary 11.9 million signatories who hoped to stop the slide to war of 1914 ever happening again. In Weimar and Berlin, Reynolds shows that, by contrast, what mattered for Germany was not preventing another 1914 but another 1918 - the year of humiliating defeat. He also examines the myth of the stab in the back which fuelled the rise of Adolf Hitler and another, even more appalling conflict. The Second World War changed the meaning of the Great War, creating the sense that 1914-18 had been an ineffectual sacrifice that required a second round. Reynolds examines how, in the 1960s, a new, less deferential generation looked back at the First World War during the 50th anniversaries. In plays like Oh! What a Lovely War and the rediscovery of war poets like Wilfred Owen, they helped set the public memory of a futile war waged by stupid generals.

[edit] Ballots and Bullets

David Reynolds examines the intriguing paradox of the Great War - that it was not caused by profound political or ideological divisions but did create them in its wake. He looks at how the conflict made politics red hot, giving birth to an age of turbulent mass democracy. Democracy, Reynolds argues, hit postwar Europe like a big bang. He traces how, in the immediate aftermath of war, monarchies toppled, the people rose up and three iconic leaders - Vladimir Lenin, Woodrow Wilson and Benito Mussolini - emerged with competing visions of people-power that polarised much of continental Europe between right and left in the 1920s and 1930s. David Reynolds explores why Britain's experience was very different. In Britain the socialist Labour Party could be absorbed into the political mainstream and the monarchy under King George V was repackaged as a symbol of the nation. For Britain this was an era of political coalitions headed by Stanley Baldwin and Ramsay MacDonald, parliamentarians who reached for the centre ground and quietly squeezed out extremists like Oswald Mosley and also charismatic politicians like Winston Churchill. Through richly visual sequences comparing the experience of France, Italy and Britain, at locations including the battlefield of Caporetto now in Slovenia, the National Assembly in Paris and Buckingham Palace in London, this film re-examines the explosive impact of the Great War on European politics.

[edit] Us and them

Nowhere was the legacy of the Great War more profound than in the unleashing of nationalist fervour across Europe. David Reynolds argues that the war made national identity a stark either-or issue, a matter of 'us' versus 'them', and he traces the recurrent struggle between nationalist uprisings and empire-building by Hitler, Stalin and latterly the European Union in the century since 1914. The Great War shattered the old empires that had ruled central and eastern Europe for centuries and, in 1918, nationalist politicians seized their moment. David travels to the Sudetenland in the Czech Republic and to the Palace of Versailles to explore the drastically changed map of middle Europe in 1919. He explores how the new nation states hastily patched together from the ruins of the Habsburg Empire destabilised the whole European continent for much of the 20th century. Reynolds finds that Britain's experience of the frenzy of nationalism was very different. The British Empire grew after the Great War and bonds with dominions like Australia and Canada, whose men fought heroically in the war, were renewed. England's union with Scotland and Wales, severely strained just before the Great War, was actually strengthened by the conflict and has only very recently been challenged by resurgent Scottish nationalism. The grim exception in the British story was Ireland. Comparing the troubled relationship between Czechs and Sudeten Germans in interwar Czechoslovakia to Britain's intractable problems in Ireland, David travels to Dublin and Belfast to examine how two blood sacrifices of 1916 - the nationalist Easter Rising and the 36th Ulster Division's terrible losses on the first day of the Battle of the Somme - aggravated tensions that remain to this day.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4.1
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 19 (~3438Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1280x720
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frames Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: Q=0.45 VBR 44.1KHz (~128Kbps)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 59 mins
  • Number Of Parts: 3
  • Part Size: 1.50 GB (average)
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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