Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Is Netflix’s The Liberator The Perfect Series to Watch On Veteran’s Day?
The 3rd Battalion of the 157th Infantry Regiment otherwise called the Thunderbirds is known for two things, liberating the Dachau concentration camp during WWII and the diversity of the soldiers who made up the regiment. This is especially significant in a time when discrimination was a common occurrence. Yet, instead of focusing and fleshing out these two details, The Liberator sacrifices the potentially compelling narratives that could come from them to focus on the leader of the battalion, Second Lieutenant Colonel Felix Sparks.
The Liberator claims to center around diversity and makes it a point to address the different races that make up the battalion … Cowboys, Mexican, and Indian Americans, but it barely attempts to distinguish the soldiers from each other. This story is about Felix Sparks, a caucasian male, and any suggestion that it does more than that only hurts the series. That being said, The Liberator is captivating and engaging. Both because of the unique animation style and because of the brutally heroic story. If you’re looking to watch something fresh to honor Veteran’s Day, The Liberator would be my first choice.
The Liberator starts with Lt. Sparks arriving at Fort Sill where he is tasked with shaping up a rebellious battalion of soldiers and leading them on the battlefield. These soldiers are full of minorities who lashed out against racist superiors. Sparks gets them to submit to his leadership by looking past their differences and empathizing with them. Through Spark’s lens, we see him and The Thunderbirds 500-day war-torn journey from Sicily Italy to the Dachau Concentration Camp. Each episode details another operation inside Nazi-controlled Europe.