Few films explain the causes of World War I as well as the first episode of the acclaimed French documentary series “Apocalypse World War I, directed by Isabelle Clarke and Daniel Costelle, and narrated by Mathieu Kassovitz. The series is a superb compilation of excellent narration and fascinating colorized archive footage. As a result it is by far the most impressive and complete documentary series about World War I.
Episode I - Fury | How World War I Began
November 11, 1918. Eleven in the morning. Suddenly, there is silence, World War I has ended. The Great War, as it is called by all involved parties, was an unfathomable carnage. It killed close to 10 million soldiers, 9 million civilians and left 21 million people wounded. What caused World War I? How did it come to this madness that took over the world for four long years?
In 1914, Europe is in the full swing of the Belle Epoque. But appearance can be conceiving. At the time, in Europe, there was a strong undercurrent of rising nationalism, militarism and Imperialism. The industrial revolution had not only produced inconceivable wealth, it also created severe socio-economic issues. The income inequality in Europe, but also Worldwide, was staggering. Instead of investing the surplus of wealth in the improvement of the appalling living conditions of European factory workers, the empires focussed on building-up huge armies to protect their national and imperial interests. As a result, the socio-economic tensions within and between empires needed an outlet.
When on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, Gavrilo Princip, a young Bosnian nationalist, assassinates Franz Ferdinand, the obscure heir to the dacaying Austro-Hungarian Empire, nobody expected it to cause total war. Yet, Episode I, Fury, explains how this seemingly inconsequential event sets the old patriotic grudges of European monarchies ablaze and caused World War One.
About the Series
In 1914 the world entered into a period of unimaginable conflict and suffering. How did such a cruel and far-reaching conflict occur? Why did the warring parties resort to trench warfare? How did humankind endure this atrocity for four long years? Could the sacrifice of an entire generation have been avoided?
Apocalypse World War I is the best and most complete documentary series about the first World War. A superb narrative feeds the audience over 500 hours of archival footage, much of it previously unseen, and now completely colorized. The series tells the story with compassion and brings us to the heart of battle. It covers the full story of the war, from the trenches in the North of France to the lesser-known fronts of Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Palestine, as well as to the everyday life of civilians behind the lines. The narration brings to life the memories and the experiences of these men and women, and helps us better understand and feel how yesterday’s world was driven to apocalypse.