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World War I - American Legacy - documentary DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 5 stars
Narrator: David Carradine
Director: Mark Bussler   Studio: Inecom Entertainment
DVD release: 05 December 2006   Runtime: 112 min. (1 disc)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Full length, Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 2.0), Subtitles (English), Trailers

Mark Bussler's World War I - American Legacy is an excellent film about America's involvement in WWI. It quickly covers the basics of the war before America declared war, then gets into the meat of U.S. involvement.

We begin by seeing a few monuments around U.S. cities - easily overlooked, but significant and important. Most of the film is spent detailing the smaller stories of the war, stories about people who fought, animals who helped, and military divisions of importance. Learn of important authors who served and died in the war such as Joyce Kilmer (I think that I shall never see / a poem as lovely as a tree). Kilmer thought it important to experience war and even planned to write about it. He never got the chance.

The Harlem Hellfighters (369th Infantry Regiment) were the first black regiment during WWI. Brave fighters and tireless, they fought for a country they loved that alas did not return the sentiment. Private Henry Lincoln Johnson of the 369th was the first American to receive the French Croix De Guerre.

The Hello Girls, mostly upper-class college students and graduates, translated French to English and back again. Their voices provided a pleasant solace to the soldiers in the field, and they provided sorely needed translation to boot! Though these women were not allowed to vote, they were still willing to give to their nation.

There are many stories here, accompanied by excellent film, photos, and period music, while David Carradine lends his smooth, even voice to the narration. Bussler's mostly upper-class college students and graduates brings the past to life and makes it seem not so long ago.

Take a look around your city for WWI monuments and listen to what they have to say. I know I will.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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