Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hitler's G.I. Death Camp (2011)

Director: Steven Hoggard

Writer: Steven Hoggard

Composers: Stuart Kollmorgen, Christopher Magnum, Michael S. Patterson

Starring: Liev Schreiber

More info: IMDb

Plot: Artifacts, photographs and journals tell the story of 350 American GIs who were held at Berga, a secretive Nazi concentration camp.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I really have a distaste for these short TV documentaries yet I keep watching them as if I'm going to get something of genuine quality.  The only thing I generally glean is learning just a little bit about something I knew little to nothing about.  The music is heavy handed and overly dramatic and they take 20 minutes worth of material and stretch it out to 44 minutes.  It's the complete opposite of most of the UK equivalent of which I'm a HUGE fan.  They know how to make interesting, compelling and informative docs.  This one feels like it's leaving a lot out.  The subject is the G.I. camp but they only spend about half the program discussing it in any kind of detail.  Every few minutes I found myself asking good questions that they failed to address (not as if I expected the TV to give me instant feedback or anything).  For example, they go through great lengths to talk about the journals that some men kept while in captivity but only give us a few scant words on what they contain.  I'm sure there are countless fascinating entries that could have been mentioned. And how were they able to keep them and how did they survive the war?  I understand there's nothing that's going to beat picking up a good book on the subject but these National Geographic, History Channel, etc. docs are only going to whisper the tip of the iceberg.  The sad thing is, with more effort they could all do a far better job in delivering the information and a lot more of it in the same amount of space.  I'm going to save more heartache with these poor episodic docs and remove them from my Netflix queue.

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