The Fallen of World War II

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

An animated data-driven documentary about war and peace, The Fallen of World War II looks at the human cost of the second World War and sizes up the numbers to other wars in history, including trends in recent conflicts.

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Do not miss this beautiful interactive video that does a better job than anything I’ve seen so far at giving viewers some sense of the scale of human loss during WWII. Filmmaker/animator Neil Halloran specializes in “cinematic data visualization,” which is just a fancy term for “using stats to punch you in the gut.”

An especially illuminating gut-punch occurs about 6 minutes in, when tiny red soldier-silhouettes depicting Soviet military deaths stack up and up, dwarfing the body counts of all other nations involved in the conflict. Halloran’s method of helping viewers visualize these devastating losses, from Jewish deaths in the Holocaust to civilian deaths in nations under occupation, is haunting and brilliant and packs an emotional wallop.

Take the 17 minutes. You won’t regret it.

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