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Titanic's Tragic Twin: The Britannic Disaster
59 min. Dreamscape. 2018. $38.99. ISBN 818506023252.
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Gr 9 Up—Most are unaware that the manufacturers of the Titanic made a twin ship, the Britannic, which was both larger and supposedly re-engineered so as to be unsinkable. The latter was still under construction when the Titanic sank, so the White Star Line added extra life boats and the hull was redesigned to prevent sinking. After some time as an ocean liner, the ship was turned into an enormous floating hospital during World War I, but it sunk in merely 55 minutes after hitting a mine in Greek waters in November 1916. While it sunk three times faster than the Titanic, the Britannic resulted in the loss of 30 lives. This pedestrian documentary makes use of costumed actors to play survivors, such as Violet "Miss Unsinkable" Jessops, who actually survived the sinking of both ocean liners, and the doomed sailor Archie Jewell. English journalist Kate Humble narrates in a breathy, melodramatic style that sensationalizes the topic. She interviews descendants of survivors of the tragedy, but asks insipid questions. Copresenter Andy Torbet, though, captures compelling underwater footage of the sunken wreck.
VERDICT Not recommended except where interest in the Titanic is insatiable.

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