Band of Brothers (2001) is a 10 part mini-series about the Easy Company (506th Infantry Regiment) in the US 101st Airborne division and their mission in the second world war. They start out in England, with a mission to parachute behind enemy lines in Normandie, in the early hours on D-day. They continued though France, including the Siege of Bastogne, and made their way though Holland with Operation Market Garden, later entering Germany and finally Austria.
They performed a number of extraordinary missions during the war, but one of the most memorable was the liberation of a German concentration camp. There were some very strong images from the camp, and the viewer is thrown directly into the very same place where the story plays out. The feeling of being authentic and knowing that this has actually occurred is overwhelming and disgusting to say the least.
This is a remarkable and very strong story about friendship and about ordinary people achieving extraordinary things together. The portrayal of Major Winters leading the company from D-day and rising in the ranks during the war is excellent. The character development of all main characters is done well you can clearly see the difference between the people in episode one and the very last one.
The actors have done an amazing job telling the story in a honorary and authentic way. The following quote is from a war veteran on the IMDb boards:
I am an 80 year old combat veteran (88th Inf. Div. Italy).
I watched BOB on the History Channel. I was so overwhelmed, indeed a bit panicked by the authentic nature of 90+% of the uniforms, signs, noises (I take exception to the sound of incoming artillery).
I cannot believe I’ll watch it again. It’s too much. Too real.
One of the most powerful images however, is that the real people behind these characters talk about what happened in the beginning of each episode, with an epilogue at the end of the series. Seeing the real Major Winters talking about what he has experienced during the war, gives a remarkable depth, and puts the characters to life in a completely different way. It is quite similar to what The Fourth Kind tried to do, but actually succeeding. The fact that is was indeed real, was of course the main success factor.
This is frankly on of the best movies/series ever created.
Score: 10/10 (Totally ninja!)