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For two and a half years, Americans fought against the British, Canadian colonists, and native nations. In the years to come, the War of 1812 would be celebrated in some places and essentially forgotten in others. But it is a war that is worth remembering - a struggle that threatened the existence of Canada, then divided the United States so deeply that the nation almost broke apart. Some of its battles and heroes became legendary, yet its blunders and cowards were just as prominent. The film shows how the glories of war become enshrined in history - how failures are quickly forgotten - how inconvenient truths are ignored forever. With stunning reenactments, evocative animation and the incisive commentary of key experts, "The War of 1812" presents the strange and awkward conflict that shaped the destiny of a continent.