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Ghost Canyon

'Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion'
(Pete Postlethwaite, Graham Greene, et al / DVD / NR / (2002) 2007 / RHI Entertainment)

Overview: 'Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion' explores the incredible true story of Halifax, Nova Scotia, a city devastated by a massive explosion and its aftermath—a historic tragedy that became a living metaphor for a worldwide conflict.

DVD Verdict: On the morning of December 6th 1917, the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia was a bustling, lively place. But in less than a second, Halifax became the center of a tragedy like no other in the history of this country, and of a tragedy unparalleled in the history of this continent. The Halifax Harbour explosion was the greatest known man-made explosion until the advent of the atomic bomb. And yet, outside of Nova Scotia, the story of the Halifax explosion is barely known.

'Shattered City' constructs a dramatic and moving narrative of the devastating event with actor Pete Postlethwaite possibly at his acting finest. But easily a close second would be the cinematography of the post-explosion wasteland, the faces portrayed of the living and the dead, and the re-building of the city of ruins thereafter.

I was very impressed by the FX used in the actual explosion sequence. The quality is high and the horror of it is VERY real: you're almost cringing at the thought of the people oohing and ahhing by the waterfront just seconds before the explosion and when you see people in their homes and schools surrounded by glass. The idea of showing people witnessing the disaster from several different places was also interesting. 'Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion' is a true story of horror, of heroes, and of scapegoats. It is a story of the day the war came home. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features.