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The Long March to Freedom Review

I had a few issues with this documentary and it comes down to the fact that while it said it was honouring the prisoners of war that had to go on this treacherous journey, in some ways it almost made the situation comical by how cheap the documentary making was. I feel bad for the prisoners of war that offered to be interviewed in the documentary because the stories were so touching and heart wrenching to then see the worst green screen effects and CGI you ever had really soiled the whole emotion of it.

The Long March to Freedom looks at the final months of the Second World War in Europe where thousands of prisoners of war had to march across Poland and Germany during a bitter winter to an unknown place. The march lasted about four months during 1945 and while it is unknown how many prisoners of war died during this, many were lost and only a few managed to get liberated.

In this documentary we speak to real-life prisoners of war during World War II who had to go on this treacherous excursion while also looking at new armed forces who do a 60 mile hike over three days to commemorate what the prisoners of war went through. It’s a really touching documentary that will get you right in your heartstrings when you realise the horrible conditions these people had to go through and how through it all it was their own hope and determination that kept them going.

However alongside these touching testimonies and looking at the new soldiers working their way through the same conditions, re-enactments are shown of prisoners of war walking through snow and sleet and horrific winters on their march, however it is clear that these moments are on a green screen background. There’s parts where the prisoners of war talk about how people were taken into the woods and shot which is a horrific thought, but to recreate it there is awful CGI blood being shown on these actors which really took away from the account of what happened, plus the fact that many of the actors are often seen looking in the camera or not even acting as if they’re going through a hard time but just on a jolly jaunt with their friends.

That’s my biggest issue this documentary, the testimonies are brilliant, they really encapsulate that feeling of terror and starvation and hope that one day things will get better but not knowing if you’re going to be able to see it, versus the horrific reconstructions that really dampen the whole experience. It’s almost comical seeing these actors trying to pull off what these men went through and it’s such a shame too because I do believe the soldiers deserve so much more, so that when they are telling their stories they are given the attention they deserve and it’s not ruined by someones bad acting.

Most war films we’ve seen including Dunkirk and 1917 are so good at showing you what it was like in World War II and what these men had to go through for their country, I think if they could make a film like that about the long march it would be so poignant and brilliant to see these men’s stories being told in a way that is dynamic and heartbreaking , instead of a documentary that, while it tells the story so beautifully and eloquently, portrays them in a way that is so bad.

What do you think of The Long March to Freedom?

Until next time.

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