The Battle of the Somme [DVD] [1916]

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Battle of the Somme
The Civil War was the first time people were able to see actual photographs of the horrors of war, and a little over 50 years later, World War I's images of death and destruction were captured with motion pictures (television would come into play 50 more years later, bringing the Vietnam War into people's living rooms). This documentary, created by Charles Urban, the official photographer for the British government, focused on one of the bloodiest battles of the war. For filmgoers, who were used to actors overdramatically faking death scenes, these shots of soldiers simply dropping to the ground came as a rude shock, and the naked reality of a field littered -- literally -- with dead bodies was another sobering sight. With such documentaries reaching the U.S. for the first time ever, it's not surprising that America remained out of the war for so long. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

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