Between 1940 and 1941, the German Luftwaffe regularly bombed different areas of Britain, including the relentless bombing of London, over 56 nights. Sadly the devastating campaign saw more than 40,000 civilians killed to become known as The Blitz.
Bruce Vigar’s documentary details the events before, during and after the harrowing bombings of Britain during World War II through interviews and archival footage that expertly depict the feelings of the British public at the time. Running at just an hour, The Blitz does well to provide the audience with an overview of what really happened. This makes it an excellent introduction for younger audiences to view what previous generations had to handle, be it children having to go to the countryside to escape the bombings within the cities or those who were fighting in the skies against the Luftwaffe.
Giving the audience a bit of information beforehand about the lead up of the bombings focused on what it was like for RAF airmen when the fighting began, and you get a great sense of the strain that they were under thanks to the interviews from retired airmen. A story of one pilot having to navigate around in the night sky looking for a German plane is riveting. We learn how the searchlights his own country had to help pinpoint the enemy actually gets in the way of their own man, and he describes what exactly he had to do in that scenario. You can’t help but feel compelled during the interview portions as these interviewees allow us into the world they experienced.
As the documentary then begins with what it was like for those on the ground experiencing the daily attacks, this is where the archive footage really comes to the fore. As good as the interviewees are informing us what happened, seeing the actual footage changes things and allows us a greater appreciation for those who stayed in the cities and those who kept making sure places like London didn’t fall under such pressure.
The one and only downside to The Blitz documentary here are that it is as short as it is. Anyone wanting to have an in-depth look at this critical time in history will be disappointed as there simply isn’t enough time for us to learn all that we would like to. This is such a shame as everything done here works very well, and you actively want to learn more about the Blitz, but with such a short time, there is only so much that can be brought up.
The Blitz 80th Anniversary is available now on DVD and Digital.
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