‘World on Fire’ Review: PBS’ Intimate World War II Series Follows Uneven Mix of Everyday Heroes and Villains

‘World on Fire’ Review: PBS’ Intimate World War II Series Follows Uneven Mix of Everyday Heroes and Villains
It starts small: A pair of plucky young Brits crash a packed Manchester rally for the British Union of Fascists (aka blackshirts) to literally sing out their disaffection for a political movement they refuse to support. They’re kicked around, tossed out, thrown into prison, where the worst thing they have to endure is their bickering parents who object to their burgeoning romance. For better, Peter Bowker’s PBS series “World on Fire” is dedicated to following the interconnected lives of a select handful of people thrown into the tumult of World War II.

Hopscotching across England, Germany, Poland, and France, “World on Fire” tracks the first year of the war, a complicated and horrifying rise that often hinges on the sense that things aren’t so bad, or that they may not get worse, or that the hints that something far darker is occurring aren’t just distasteful rumors.
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