A excellent documentary on Pearl Harbor.
maxnikka | Sonoma County, CA USA | 11/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I viewed this documentary two nights ago and was deeply impressed by the work done here. Tom Brokaw does an excellent job of narrating. The search for one of the midget Japanese subs was a nice addition to this piece. Listening to the accounts of the survivors make this NG piece so poignant and heartfelt. Words simply cannot do justice to this superb documentary. I will be viewing this DVD again and again."
Rick Houston | Hamptonville, NC USA | 06/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Words cannot describe the emotional impact of seeing veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack tell their stories, of lost friends, of survival, of their families back home. Completely incredible video of the interior of Arizona. I consider myself a big, strong "he-man" who doesn't get emotional about such things as the endings of movies and television shows. But my wife and I found ourselves with tears in our eyes watching this tape, to the point of sobbing. This is much more than just a documentary. ... it's worth at least double the price. Buy this tape if you care anything at all about Pearl Harbor, World War II, history in general or if you're simply fascinated by ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances."
Not you're average documentary!!!
Rick Houston | 11/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another very impressive documentary by director, Kirk Wolfinger, director of other shows such as "To the Moon" and "Hitler's Lost Sub". "Pearl Harbor - Legacy of Attack" is an eye-watering and incredible mix of stories from the soldiers at the harbor, to the loved ones at home, to the depths of the Japanese mini-submarines and their commanders to the quest of a salvage research team in search of the alleged sunken Japanese mini-sub, supposedly to have been hit by an American Naval artillary shot. Maybe America fired the first shot of The Attack on Pearl Harbor after all. A film that we can all relate to since September 11."
A powerfully moving tribute to the victims and survivors
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 12/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Ballard's search for the Japanese sub fired upon by the Ward an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the promise of the first look inside the sunken USS Arizona may be the featured selling points for this wonderful National Geographic special, but it is the personal stories of Pearl Harbor survivors that makes this a moving, incredibly rewarding video experience. This special, hosted by Tom Brokaw, was filmed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the reprehensible sneak attack, and it is definitely one of the most impressive Pearl Harbor documentaries I have seen.
The video deals almost as much with the present as it does the past, switching back and forth between then and now in a pattern which basically takes you through the overall sequence of events on the day that will forever live in infamy. Personally, I could have done with much less footage of Ballard's search for the Japanese midget sub; it's certainly interesting, but the search fails to provide us with any important new information. The footage taken by robotic vehicles from inside the Arizona was also interesting; this was, after all, the first time the interior of the ill-fated battleship has been seen since the morning of December 7, 1941.
I won't quibble very much about the description and footage of the attack. Obviously, this one video could not go into all of the tragic events of that day, but it does offer a good overview of the situation, does great honor to those who died that Sunday morning as well as those who survived, and gives mention to several facts that aren't mentioned all that often - e.g., the fact that a sub was spotted approaching Pearl Harbor four hours before the attack (and three hours before a second sub was sighted and fired upon by the Ward). It also describes the senseless positioning of naval forces on that morning, making US ships and planes sitting ducks to the overpowering air attack. It does not go so far as to cast blame or ask who knew what in advance, but it does drive home the point that Japanese forces gave themselves away three times in the hours preceding the attack, but no action of any kind was taken by anyone on Oahu. It should not be a secret by now, of course, that the depth of the disaster that day had as much to do with American military incompetence as it did the actual Japanese attack.
The heart of Pearl Harbor, though, is the stories of the victims and the survivors, and this documentary does a great service to all those young men and women. Personal stories of bravery, such as that of Dorie Miller, are told, but these are far surpassed in emotional terms by a number of personal stories of victims - these are stories some men carried with them for decades, and few can relate them now without shedding tears of horror and heartbreak. One survivor had come to Pearl Harbor for the first time in six decades, finally opening up and telling his story because he knew he had only a few months to live. All of those men who suffered and died must never be forgotten, and they must never be relegated to mere numbers. Hearing the personal stories of survivors, no matter how horrible the things they describe witnessing, brings the importance of every individual soul lost that fateful day into the proper perspective. I daresay there are very few men and women who can watch this National Geographic special without becoming emotional themselves - it is a powerful presentation that I think every American should see."