23 November 2005 | artemis_5
A Miniseries Like No Other
The broadcast of "War and Remembrance", based on Herman Wouk's novel, was a television event. Although recapturing the excitement of watching the miniseries can cost you around $180, it is well worth it. From its beautiful opening and closing score to its unforgettable images and people, "War and Remembrance" is like no other. Because it was an epic miniseries, which cost around $110 million to make, the television powers that be were able to film at various locations around the world and bring vastly different (yet interconnected) stories of the war to the small screen. In that sense, it is like several miniseries rolled into one.
"War and Remembrance" revolves around the lives of two families, the Henrys and the Jastrows. The connection between them is provided through the marriage of Byron Henry and Natalie Jastrow. The Henrys are a naval family: Victor "Pug" Henry serves both as a diplomat and as the commander of a destroyer at various times in the series, Byron Henry serves on a submarine in the Pacific, Warren Henry is a naval pilot married to the daughter of a Senator. Byron's wife, Natalie Jastrow is an American Jew in Europe trying to escape the Nazis along with her uncle, Aaron Jastrow, and her son with Byron, Louis Henry. Aaron Jastrow's cousin is a Jewish Polish soldier trying to survive Auschwitz. Those are just some of the characters whose stories captivate the audience. There are also the experiences of their spouses, lovers, and the relatives of their spouses and lovers.
The audience is also given a glimpse into the thinking of the Nazi leadership, with Steven Berkoff providing a chilling and brilliant portrayal of Adolf Hitler. Here was a look at the Holocaust and the events and decisions leading up to it that was unprecedented at the time that the series debuted in 1988.
It is unfortunate that I have not found many libraries that carry copies of this miniseries on either VHS or DVD, forcing many people to either buy it or miss out on experiencing it. I, for one, have chosen to buy it, and I do not regret it for a day. I also recommend reading the book.