Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Dorothy Rabinowitz reviews what sounds like an excellent documentary airing tonight on PBS

Documentary filmmaker Charles Guggenheim's last work--airing tonight on PBS, 8 to 10:30 p.m. EDT (check local listings)--about Americans taken prisoner in the Battle of the Bulge reveals a story largely unknown to all but a few war buffs. It's also one that comes at a propitious moment, and not only because we are just past Memorial Day. For, within this bleak history stands a testament to honor and heroism all the more potent for its lack of trumpet flourishes. Even in this tale told so somberly it is impossible to miss the quintessentially American stubbornness and idealism it reflects in its down-to-earth way: as though there were nothing out of the ordinary about men who, for the sake of a principle, would defy captors holding the power of life or death.