Finished: 11 January

This extensive documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick – broken down into seven separate two-hour-long films on Netflix – provides a fascinating insight into the Second World War as it was experienced by Americans. In fact, it concentrates on the residents of just four different towns, but uses them as a jumping-off point to explore the war in the Pacific, the way the conflict affected American people of Japanese descent, the Holocaust, the fighting in Europe and Africa and much more, all the way to the atomic bomb attacks that brought Japan to its knees. As such there’s not so much here on the Second World War pre-Pearl Harbor, but the film clearly states it’s not supposed to be exhaustive; it’s always fascinating, and containing a huge amount of footage and still photography. (*****)