Scenes from The Pacific

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Getting Their Guns Off by Jon Zobenica
The Atlantic, May 2010

HBO has now released its highly anticipated miniseries The Pacific, a dramatization of our war with Japan, produced by much the same group that brought out Ryan and Band of Brothers (DreamWorks Studios, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks) and based chiefly on memoirs by two marines, Robert Leckie and Eugene Sledge, who fought and suffered in that conflict. Any firsthand account of our fight with Japan--an often hole-by-hole war of extermination--will be intensely raw at times, and Leckie's and Sledge's books are no exception, yet the filmmakers, while skillfully tending to such difficult material, have once again taken care to shore up the dignity and pathos of the protagonists, in ways not reflected in the texts themselves, and in ways that should have been judged unnecessary for capturing viewer sympathy.
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Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is The Atlantic's digital features editor. More

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, an Atlantic senior editor, began her association with the magazine in 2002, shortly after graduating from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She joined the staff full time in January 2006. Before coming to The Atlantic, Jennie was senior editor at Moment, a national magazine founded by Elie Wiesel.

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