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By Rachel Morgan | March 4, 2005

“Between Two Worlds” conveys the story of author, artist and veteran, Fredric L. Arnold, who along with James J. Hagenback, was one of only two survivors of the World War II fighter pilot unit 42J. The twelve other members of the troop died within six months of their enrollment, either in training or in combat; most were in their twenties. The documentary is composed of interviews (the majority with Arnold himself), archival footage (mostly photographs and super 8 film) and readings by Arnold from his book Door Knob Five Two. The story culminates to a heartbreaking and poignant memorial for the lost pilots of 42J. Through the film’s examination of Arnold’s life a larger story is told and not just that of World War II, but of the horrors of war in general. The film serves an important look at the losses suffered by war and the forces that haunt its survivors and it seems to hold a rather relevant message considering the current state of the world.

The archival footage featured in the documentary is exceptional, both in quality and content, and tends to be specific to Arnold and unit 42J, a fact that conveys a truly personal and unique view of the historic events. Despite the fact that the content alone would be enough to sustain the film, the documentary holds its own technically. The film is well shot and the sound is especially excellent, as it should be considering director Aaron Weisblatt is a seasoned sound editor. His name is linked to features such as “Van Wilder” and “Three Kings”. The film’s score is well done and hauntingly appropriate. “Between Two Worlds” is an important documentary that not only tells the consequential story of Fredric Arnold and his fellow troop members, but also serves as a relevant microcosm, not just of World War II, but of war in general.

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