Five friends meet for one last night together before three of them head off to war. It’s not the newest of premises but what gives the nearly five-hour epic Generation War more of a kick is that it’s about five German youths who will be hurled into the morally-devastating crucible of World War II.
It’s playing now in limited release and should hit DVD soon. My review is at Film Racket:
Controversial but also hugely popular in Germany, where it aired as a TV miniseries, this dynamic story about five friends sucked into the bloody maw of the Second World War is in line with earlier efforts to fit big-screen ideas and scope into a small-screen format. Much like those Herman Wouk adaptation epics of decades past, Generation War uses carefully pigeonholed and typecast characters as chess pieces to be moved about the broad, years-spanning story to cover as many points of interest and historical drama as possible. This produces a somewhat mechanical narrative, something that the hardworking cast resists as best they can, continually hitting high strumming notes of melodrama amidst the exploding shells…
The trailer is here: