You’re on an impossible mission if you’re looking to learn about the history of wars in the world using only your Netflix Canada account. You may need to dig up old-world relics that are your video-store and library cards. Netflix Canada’s selection of war films is sadly incomplete.
The ratio of all First World War to Second World War movies is about 1:100 (unscientific figure, but the Second World War was longer, its effects longer lasting and its narratives more easily dramatizable, which may explain the difference); on Netflix Canada, I’ve been unable to find more than one movie or documentary on the First World War worth sharing (Flyboys, the unrecommendable 138-minute mess starring James Franco, is available if you are so brave. One of the more positive reviews called it “a lot less obnoxious than Pearl Harbor.”)
Where is the Paul Gross-directed-written-starring Passchendaele, a great – and one of the only – Canadian war film? Classics like All Quiet on the Western Front and Paths of Glory? More recent films like A Very Long Engagement and War Horse? And I’m still only on the First World War – the streaming service’s repertoire of Cold, Vietnam and Korea War movies is missing some cinema classics. I can’t fault Netflix for its shortcomings, but if it is going to be the future of media streaming, it has a long way to go.
Here are some of the war movies Netflix Canada has to offer.