When We Go to War - Netflix
"When We Go to War" focuses on the impact the war has on a middle New Zealand, Pakeha family and a Maori brother and sister.
This spectacular six-hour television drama cuts between life at home, Gallipoli and Egypt. The series begins in a time of optimism and hope, on the eve of war. New Zealand has one of the highest living standards in the world, is part of the mighty British Empire and few can foresee the horrors soon to come.
As the series - and the war - progress, the changing lives of those back home are contrasted with the experiences of New Zealand soldiers in the trenches and the lives of nurses in makeshift hospitals in Egypt. The war puts an enormous strain on existing relationships - while new ones develop.
The story centres around a powerful and conflicted love story between Bea Smith, a woman ahead of her time who is nursing in Egypt alongside her lover William, a dedicated doctor. The series also explores the effect the battlefield has on Charles Smith, a lawyer turned officer, his brother Harry, the family's black sheep, and family friend Manaaki Kokiri, a preacher turned lethally effective soldier. The effects of war at home cover the grief of the bereaved, anti-German hatred, anti-conscription activism and the survival of the family's economic base, Smith's Emporium.
Runtime: 60 minutes
When We Go to War - We choose to go to the Moon - Netflix
“We choose to go to the Moon” is the famous tagline of a speech about the effort to reach the Moon delivered by President John F. Kennedy to a large crowd gathered at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas on September 12, 1962. The speech was intended to persuade the American people to support the Apollo program, the national effort to land a man on the Moon. In his speech, Kennedy characterized space as a new frontier, invoking the pioneer spirit that dominated American folklore. He infused the speech with a sense of urgency and destiny, and emphasized the freedom enjoyed by Americans to choose their destiny rather than have it chosen for them. Although he called for competition with the Soviet Union, he also proposed making the Moon landing a joint project. The speech resonated widely and is still remembered, although at the time there was disquiet about the cost and value of the Moon-landing effort. Kennedy's goal was realized in July 1969 with the successful Apollo 11 mission, but the space program thereafter lost vision and direction.
When We Go to War - Reception - Netflix
Paul Burka, the executive editor of Texas Monthly magazine, a Rice alumnus who was present in the crowd that day, recalled 50 years later that the speech “speaks to the way Americans viewed the future in those days. It is a great speech, one that encapsulates all of recorded history and seeks to set it in the history of our own time. Unlike today’s politicians, Kennedy spoke to our best impulses as a nation, not our worst.” Ron Sass and Robert Curl were among the many members of the Rice University faculty present. Curl was amazed by the cost of the space exploration program. They recalled that the ambitious goal did not seem so remarkable at the time, and that Kennedy's speech was not regarded as so different from one delivered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at Rice's Autry Court in 1960; but that speech has long since been forgotten, while Kennedy's is still remembered. The speech did not stem a rising tide of disquiet about the Moon landing effort. There were many other things that the money could be spent on. Eisenhower declared, “To spend $40 billion to reach the Moon is just nuts.” Senator Barry Goldwater argued that the civilian space program was pushing the more important military one aside. Senator William Proxmire feared that scientists would be diverted away from military research into space exploration. A budget cut was only narrowly averted. Kennedy gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 1963, in which he again proposed a joint expedition to the Moon. Khrushchev remained cautious about participating, and responded with a statement in October 1963 in which he declared that the Soviet Union had no plans to send cosmonauts to the Moon. However, his military advisors persuaded him that the offer was a good one, as it would enable the Soviet Union to acquire American technology. Kennedy ordered reviews of the Apollo project in April, August and October 1963. The final report was received on November 29, 1963, a week after Kennedy's assassination.
When We Go to War - References - Netflix