“There are no winners in war, only survivors”. While I still struggle with understanding the correct genealogy of that quote, it still gives me a pause and makes me think. Huge human atrocities have been committed in the name of war over millennia, and while the modern world is still reeling under the effects and remnants of some of those, they can only serve as stern reminders of a brutally horrifying reality we have left behind for good. The Second World War remains probably the single most documented piece of history when it comes to cinema, also among its most saddening and inhumane ones.
As is the very nature of cinema, there exists a wide gamut of films on the rather academic topic, ranging from first-person accounts, to soul-stirring dramas, to action films, to real memoirs of survivors to even fantasy. Whatever the sub-genre, the anti-war message in nearly all of them is clear as day. Netflix being the new hub of streaming entertainment hosts some rare gems from the genre making for a truly great repository full of modern classics and ones for the ages. So, here’s the list of really good World War II movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
13. Prelude to War (1942)
A piece of propaganda cinema, the US’ official film statement from back in 1942 in defining the Allies, their enemies, and why they must be fought. Not a cinematic marvel by any yardstick, and barely long enough to qualify as an informative documentary, you have to be truly appreciative of the time, setting and circumstances this was released in, and the impact it would have had on an entire country.
12. Alone in Berlin (2016)
‘Alone in Berlin’ is the story of a working class Nazi couple lose their son in the war, and move to denounce the fascist Nazi regime in the wake of their loss, even as the nation celebrates a momentous victory, doing so by dropping handwritten cards exposing the regime’s lies all over Berlin. A simple film with a lot of unmet potential in its premise, watch it for the great cast.