A 24 part history documentary hosted by Kenneth Branagh, broadcasted as part of CNN Perspectives series in 1998 - English narration and subtitles.
EPISODE ONE: Comrades (1917-1945)
Though ideological enemies, the Soviet Union and the U.S. are allies against Hitler during WWII. At the end of the war, Europe is divided, and the one-time allies now confront each other. The U.S. has the atomic bomb.
If anything defined the 20th century as the age of anxiety, it's the Cold War with its ultimate no-win nuclear endgame. While conflicts in Korea and Vietnam dragged on, providing the traditional images of modern warfare, some of the conflict's most dangerous battles were invisible--tactical, intellectual, and fought primarily in the minds and war rooms of U.S. and Soviet leaders: Kennedy, Krushchev, Castro, Kissinger, Gorbachev, and Reagan. This 8-volume, 24-episode series, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, is a comprehensive history that examines the key events of the arc of the Soviet Union, from its birth to its fall, and provides a thorough analysis of what was going on behind closed doors. Informed by the stories of 500 eyewitnesses--from citizens and soldiers to historians and statesmen--and strengthened by painstaking reconstruction of archival historical film footage, CNN's Cold War is a heroic undertaking and a sweeping chronicle of the world's most fragile decades.
Time Warner has completely ceased publication of this series, has taken down its equally vast and comprehensive Cold War website and will likely never release this documentary on DVD. Nonetheless this series is unprecedented for its comprehensiveness, its vast array of interviews with many direct participants who are now unfortunately, no longer with us, and its huge collection of archival footage from both sides of the Iron Curtain. It is a story that must be told and shared throughout the world; for over forty years life itself on the planet literally hung in the balance of this high-stakes chessgame between two colossal superpowers.