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Paris 1919

Narrator: R.H. Thomson , Paul Cowan    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Paris 1919 + Love, Hate & Propaganda - The Cold War / Amour, haine et propagande - La Guerre Froide (Bilingual) + Love, Hate & Propaganda - War On Terror / Amour, haine et propagande - La guerre au terrorisme (Bilingual)
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Product Details


Product Description

In the wake of 37 million casualties at the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson took his dream of a League of Nations to Paris to seek "peace everlasting," joining over 30 international delegations who descended upon the city for the most ambitious peace talks in history. Helmed by the Big Four (the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy), the Paris Peace Conference ultimately and ironically sowed the seeds of resentment that led to World War II. In a remarkable feat of filmmaking, director Paul Cowan expertly blends re-enactments with archival footage to transport us to one of the most important summit meetings of the 20th Century. Inspired by the award-winning bestseller by Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919 chronicles an extraordinary historical event that dissolved empires, redrew maps, engineered the Treaty of Versailles - and created far-reaching consequences that continue to afflict and trouble our world today. Captions for the hearing impaired. Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen Language: English Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only) Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Number of discs: 1 Rated: NR (Not Rated) Studio: BFS Entertainment DVD Release Date: October 20, 2009 Run Time: 94 minutes


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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Significant Time for Humanity Oct. 29 2013
By Grand
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This docu-drama reveals what happened in the months that followed the end of World War I, how it sealed the fate of the world's future. It also reveals the faults and failings of the Allied leaders to follow a wise course of action, that would have resulted in a very different world than we have today. If these events interest you, than you may also want to acquire the four dvd set "The First World War" the complete series, based on the book written by Professor Hew Strachan. It will give you further insight into what happened in "Paris 1919".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking the dryness out of history Sept. 10 2013
By Lorpie
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Based on the book by the historian Margaret MacMillan, this documentary illuminates the final days of World War 1 in a way I had not seen before. The major players in the quest for a peaceful solution are shown step-by-step towards a resolution in the form of the Treaty of Versailles. Especially enlightening was the special feature interview with the author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent docudrama on the Peace Conference July 6 2010
By B. Fitzpatrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I watched this when it aired on TV recently. I thought it was going to be a made for TV movie when it started, however it wasn't. Instead, it's a docudrama; it combines archival footage and reenactments with narration as well as dialogue between the characters. These reenactments aren't brief, muted scenes like on History Channel specials (which I personally don't mind but some people find lame) but filmed as a movie. As a result, the production quality is very high. The cast was exceptional and resembled the actual people (except Wilson which I found odd since he was focused on the most). I thought the actor who played Clemenceau stood out the most.

As for the content, the first half deals with most of the countries involved in the war discussing what they want out of the treaty and the quarrels between them. The last half revolves around the negotiations with Germany. It gives a very good insight into how it all took place. What I found most interesting was that it wasn't just about the politicians like Wilson, Clemenceau, and Lloyd George discussing the treaty at the conference, but also the mapmakers trying to establish new borders and countries (a very stressful job when you consider a few miles/kilometers could mean another war), and the accountants who attempted to put a price on the destruction of the war.

My one complaint is that some of the dialogue was written with too much of World War II in mind. Perhaps the most obvious example is when Lloyd George tells Wilson in private, "I fear a weak Germany almost as much as I do a strong, belligerent one. If she's weak, she's prey to any demagogue who comes along and promises to restore German pride. You know that can happen." Wilson just dismisses the fear and replies, "I've heard that one before." Whether or not Lloyd George said or thought something like this, I can't be certain since I've not looked into it but the way the line is written just made me roll my eyes and think, "Why not just have him mention Hitler already?" That said, this complaint is just a nitpick and only applies to a few lines in the last half of the film.

I found it to be a very entertaining and informative film. When judging a documentary, I take two things into consideration: accuracy and how long it feels. I don't always know enough about a subject to determine if it's accurate but for the perceived length, it did not feel like a long 90 min. I definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in World War I or even World War II.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WAGING PEACE CAN BE HARDER THAN WAGING WAR! July 3 2010
By Loves To Read - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This docudrama with both archival footage and drama tells the story of the peace talks in Paris in 1919 at the end of WWI which ended in the Treaty of Versailles. WWI was truly a world war and at the end dozens of nations wanted reparations or a piece of the spoils. They all convened in Paris for what they thought would be a 3-4 week conference to settle all the post war divisions. Nations' borders were being redrawn and people groups were being shuffled around like livestock. To Paris came kings and queens and caliphs and emirs and THEN the deity, Woodrow Wilson. The United States had entered the war and ended the war so everyone looked to the U.S. for answers and Woodrow Wilson was godlike, at least in the beginning. A large conference room was set up where nations could present their case in front of the representatives from Japan, Italy, Great Britain, France and Woodrow Wilson (U.S.). Japan was eliminated from the group after a short time and Italy had little influence in the end. This is a well done summary of a behind the scenes look at the Paris Peace Conference which stretched on for six months as countries jockeyed for position on the world scene, unknowingly setting the stage for WWII as they punished Germany into the ground, creating a backlash that produced evil like the world had never known and thought impossible. Even today we see and feel the effects of this peace treaty which spawned the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations and the brainchild of Woodrow Wilson. Another slice of history which helps to understand the world we live in today.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOWING THE WIND WHILE REAPING THE WHIRLWIND July 1 2010
By Paco Calderón - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Perhaps the best documentary -not a docudrama, though some scenes are reenacted- I've seen, after a lifetime viewing documentaries and docudramas.
Makes its point clearly (and ominously), has lots of historical footage to back it up, and is elegantly edited and produced. Extremely interesting.
Alas, the actors playing Woodrow Wilson and Lloyd George do not resemble the originals. Peccata minuta.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required viewing for everyone July 7 2011
By R. A. Martinek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The history of the Twentieth and Twenty-first centuries began with the First World War. The causes and way that war was fought, especially in the arena of statecraft, are crucial to understanding everything that came after, to the present day. This video is a documentary of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. That event was and is the most significant event of the Twentieth Century, bar none--for the human race is still dealing with its consequences today, and probably will for the next half century, at least.

This is based on the book by Margaret MacMillan, [u]Paris 1919, Six Months that Changed the World[/u]. See the video, then read the book. The video appears well balanced and fair to all the parties involved. One feels a little sympathy for the Germans, but only because the peace treaty forced upon them was utterly outrageous by any sane criteria. War has been called a kind of mass insanity founded on a misconception of reality. In this so called peace conference, sanity and reality were conspicuously absent.

It makes a perfect companion to the video, "The First World War," based on the book by Hew Strachan.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary/drama on the Versailles Treaty.....outstanding Dec 21 2010
By J. Brandt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Do you want to know why a second "World War" broke out less than 20 years after World War One ended? This docudrama does an outstanding job of seeing how the Allies (France, Italy, England and the United States) came together with other nations to punish Germany financially and geographically. All the while, other nations are being created with no thought of ethnic unrest/hatred being created. The Allies want Germany punished (Clemenceau of France wants Germany to be broken to the point of no return....which, of course, will only incite German anger and lead to another war).

The docudrama has real video from the Versailles Treaty and film footage from Germany, England, France, etc....mixed in with the actors who portray the main characters from the Versailles Treaty. It does not take long to be captivated by the conversations between Wilson (U.S.) and Lloyd George (England) and Clemenceau of France. The anger, the fears, the frustrations of Germany knowing it would be punished beyond its ability to make financial reparations all culminate in a treaty that Germany was forced to sign, but only led to more frustration for Germany while the allies could only see the short term punishment for Germany from a war that took the lives of millions of soldiers and civilians.

A great 90 minute docudrama of the Versailles Treaty which gives great insight into why it failed and why the problems we have today in our world can be traced back to the year 1919.
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