Apocalypse '45

Watch Apocalypse '45

"A time of terror and glory"
  • 2020
  • 6.9  (187)
  • 80

Apocalypse '45 is a riveting documentary that provides an unflinching and unparalleled look at the end of World War II. Directed by Erik Nelson, the movie is a masterfully edited collection of archival footage shot in the last months of the war, in August of 1945, as the Allies closed in on Japan's mainland. The movie provides a sweeping experience for the audience, bringing the battles, the tension, and the course of events to life. The film is narrated by the Japanese actor Ittsei Nakagawa, who lends a powerful voice to the story.

With striking detail, the film lays bare the devastating consequences of the war on both sides. It delivers a vivid portrayal of the rare footage, which includes many scenes that have never been seen before, such as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The documentary explores the lives of soldiers, civilians, and prisoners of war, and the harrowing struggle that they endured. Many of the stories that the film touches on are shocking and gut-wrenching, but they offer an essential view of history that we should not forget.

The film is structured around archival clips from battle fronts in Okinawa and Iwo Jima, narrated by servicemen from both sides. There is a real sense of intimacy while watching Apocalypse '45, and yet the movie remains respectful throughout. The film shows the destruction and horrors of war, but it also offers a reflection on what happened during those long months leading up to victory. Above all, it offers a powerful reminder of the consequences of global conflict.

The cinematography is one of the greatest strengths of Apocalypse '45. The film offers a wealth of footage drawn from personal and official archives, including high-resolution scans of film assembled from hundreds of sources around the world. There is a sense of immediacy to the footage that transports the audience into the heart of the action, even though the movie is shot in black and white. In addition, the film's sound design is equally impressive, creating an immersive soundscape that allows the viewer to experience the battlefields as if they were there.

One of the main strengths of the movie is its depiction of the human cost of war. Apocalypse '45 never shies away from the horrors of the conflict, as it brings to life the experiences of the people involved. The movie goes beyond the perspective of the generals and the military leaders, instead focussing on the people who fought and suffered. By doing so, the movie shows us that there is no glory in war, only sacrifice and pain.

Another aspect of the movie that stands out is the breadth and depth of the archival footage. The film covers not only the war in the Pacific but also the European conflict. It is impressive how the film combines footage from different theaters of war to create a cohesive narrative. It gives the audience a sense of the scope and scale of World War II and the monumental events that unfolded during the war's final days.

The movie is an incredible testament to the power of the documentary genre. It presents us with an immersive experience that is entirely crafted from archival footage, yet feels like a vivid, living thing. The film is a tribute to the people who lived through the war, to the brave soldiers who fought, and to the civilians who endured the unimaginable. It is an emotional and thought-provoking movie that leaves a deep impression on the viewer.

Overall, Apocalypse '45 is a must-see movie for anyone with an interest in history, war, or the human experience. It sets a new benchmark for the genre, and it's a remarkable achievement in documentary filmmaking. The film is a rare and powerful reminder of the horrors of war and the sacrifices that were made to bring it to an end. It is an essential film that should be seen by anyone who wants to understand the human cost of conflict.

Apocalypse '45
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  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (187)
  • Metascore