Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny (2010)

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Released 12-Jun-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 106:55 (Case: 101)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Richard Trank
Studio
Distributor
Transmission Films Starring Ben Kingsley
Bryan McArdle
Doron Avraham
Richard Ben Asher
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $23.95 Music Lee Holdridge


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

†††† Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny is a well-produced television-style documentary. It is narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley and includes extracts of famous speeches about Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, aptly supported by Lee Holdridge's fantastic orchestral score. This is a glowing appraisal of Churchill's wartime actions during 1940 and 1941; there is no mention of Churchill's controversies during this period.

†††† Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny was directed by Richard Trank and produced by Trank and Rabbi Marvin Hier with the support of the film division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies. The documentary also highlights Churchill's concerns against Hitlerís anti-Semitism in the early 1930s, his efforts during the war to bring attention to the treatment of European Jews by the Nazis and his support to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine (something which Franklin D. Roosevelt did not concur with).

†††† Overall, this documentary looks at Churchill's and Britain's heroic resistance to Nazi expansion into Western Europe in the early 1940s, but does not address greater issues of World War II such as whether the Allies could have done more to prevent the atrocities committed against Jews, Poles and other minority groups.

†††† Apart from archival footage and extracts read from witness accounts, interviews with Winston Churchill's family members, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Churchill biographer Martin Gilbert, and Dame Vera Lynn (she looks great for 96 years of age!) are featured.

†††† The Region 4 DVD has been released by Transmission films in Australia, marking the first retail DVD release for this documentary worldwide.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† As this is a documentary, there is extensive use of archived and recreated footage and scenes with interviewees, so the video transfer is not like a contemporary Hollywood film!

†††† The aspect ratio is 1:85:1, 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions. This film was released theatrically in 2010, but it is more suited in style for the History Channel.

†††† Winston Churchill: Waking with Destiny is presented on a single-layered DVD 4.36 gb in size. The average bitrate for the main presentation is 6.5 m/b per sec, which is about standard for a DVD transfer.

†††† Archived footage is mainly in black-and-white, whereas recreated scenes contain colour that is muted to match films from the 1940s. Interviewees are presented with a bright contrast though, in comparison.

†††† Due to the archived footage included, film artefacts are abundant, both negative (white) and positive (black). There is also macro-blocking and low level noise present with footage that is low in contrast and from analogue sources due to age.

†††† Unfortunately, subtitles are not included.

†††† There is no RSDL change because the film is presented on a single layered DVD

Video Ratings Summary
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Audio

†††† Lee Holdridge's film score is superb. It compliments this documentary very well, adding nice emotive elements to scenes that inspire heroic responses in the midst of overwhelming challenge and peril, as Churchill often found himself during the early 1940s against the might of the German military forces.

†††† There is one audio track in English Dolby Digital 5.1, encoded at 448 kbps.

†††† Sir Ben Kingsley's narration is clear and the audio is synchronised.

†††† Lee Holdridge's orchestral score avoids being bombastic, rather it uses flourishes where necessary, yet still sounds modern.

†††† Surround channel usage is evident in the front and rear speakers as the score runs throughout the film.

†††† The subwoofer is employed to support the score, but is never overwhelming.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
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Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
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Extras

††††There are no extras included, unfortunately!

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††††The Region 1 DVD is only available online from the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum website for $US18.95 at the time of writing this review. It is identical to the Region 4 DVD except for subtitling options in 12 languages including; Spanish, Russian, Lithuanian, Polish, German, French, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Chinese, Romanian, Hungarian and Serbo-Croatian.

Summary

†††† Richard Trank's biographical film looks at the time between Churchill's ascent to Prime Minister and the American entry into the Second World War at the end of 1941. Churchill did all this despite being out of favour with the leadership of the British Conservative Party in the 1930s. Eventually, he was brought back reluctantly by King George VI and the outgoing Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. Churchill became an inspirational leader due to his public speaking skills and effective decision-making in the midst of great and immanent threats from the enemy, Germany. He was able to use the evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk as a call for support from anti-Nazis on both sides of the Atlantic, in turn adding momentum for Franklin D. Roosevelt's political campaign for a third presidential term.

†††† This film, together with narration by Sir Ben Kingsley, weaves the events of 1940 and 1941 in an engrossing way for the audience and is well worth checking out from your local DVD retailer.

Ratings (out of 5)

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Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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