An Emotionally, Powerful Documentary About "London's Longest
Kenneth M. Gelwasser | Hollywood, Fl USA | 04/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The PBS documetary, "The Blitz London's Longest Night" is a fascinating look at both the facts and feelings, that surrounded the night of December 29, 1940, when Hitler's bombers lead an unprecedented ariel attack apon the city of London. The ferocious fires, that the attack started, nearly burned a whole square mile of London to the ground. The main target of the attack seems to have been, St. Paul's Cathedral, which was both an iconic part of the London skyline and also an important symbol of English history. The intent was to have been to try and scare the British people into overnight submission and break their will. Luckily, history did not play out that way. Instead of being bombed into submission 'the Blitz' united the British people into a common cause. The documentary is aptly named, because it really does seem to be "London's Longest Night". The film takes us on an hour by hour progression of what happened. It shows us every step of the bombing and the response of both the British firemen and ordinary London citizens alike to extordinary events. The documentary shows us this, through a mixture of narration, actual archival footage, interviews with elderly witnesses and dramatizations of their stories. These elements are seemlessly weaved together to tell an interesting and emotionally arresting tale. The dramatizations are very well done and most effective. Among these stories we meet a family in a bomb shelter, a man accompanied by his wife trying to return to his rescue unit, two foreign reporters getting the story, a number of firemen working to contain the fires and a priest and his cohorts trying to protect St.Paul's from burning down. The story of St. Paul's Cathedral is most important, because it really is the emotional backbone (or spine) of the film. It's a symbol of England's survival, in that dark night of history. By the end of the film, we are shown a juxaposition between a fire bombed London, just after the attack and the new modern city, that has risen out of the fiery rubble & ashes like a Pheonix. This is an excellent documentary, that is not only factual, but is quite moving and will leave you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended!"
Who did Hitler think he was dealing with?
JOHN GODFREY | Milwaukee ,WI USA | 09/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"London on the abyss in December 1940. We all know about the The Battle of Britain. This story of the the Blitz was more informative, personal & enlightening than anything I have seen or read. My one brief visit to London did not do this city justice & I never realized how much damage was done to the center of the city in the square mile surrounding St. Paul's Cathedral, indeed the symbol of London. I had never heard the details of the heroic efforts employed to save it that night. First, fire bombs to light the way for the heavy bombers, then the fire storms & the target of all that was still standing. Then the Germans blinked. They recalled another wave of bombers that surely would have destroyed London. The moment passed & they were never quite able to maintain the advantage they had December 29, 1940. The blending of actual documentary footage & recreations made for 90 minutes of compelling viewing. Survivors & participants of that night were interviewed. Many of them are very old but their memories are fresh. It is obvious from the emotions on their faces recalling that night that this was a life altering experience. One you never forget. Scenes of London today at the closing was a fitting end."