Burns has definitely succeeded in breaking new ground, exploring in depth the effect of the war on common Americans, and not just the soldiers of The Greatest Generation that fought it.
Together the filmmaking team succeeds in bringing the war home through the testimonies, letters, and footage of the people from these towns. The storytelling is compelling--Burns and Novick manage to find the most vivid, intimate, and personal dimensions of a global catastrophe--and brought to life with exceptional voice work from marquee stars like Tom Hanks, Alan Arkin, and Samuel L. Jackson. Much of the footage is brilliantly restored; even the most die-hard History Channel buff will see clips here that they've never viewed before. Many old grainy family films look almost as clean and bright as if they were just shot using a modern camera with black-and-white film (keeping in mind that most of the footage was shot without sound, the audio effects work on The War is particularly impressive.
It took Burns and Novick six years to make this seven-part, 15-hour film--not surprising, really, considering the miles of footage they must have accumulated in the course of their research--and the time and effort shows in the results. The DVD also includes a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, extensive commentaries, and more.
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