Showing posts with label Trench warfare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trench warfare. Show all posts

Monday, January 20, 2020

1917 The Movie


I liked the movie 1917 because the focus is on what look like ordinary young English lads tasked with an extraordinary mission at a crucial time in the history of the Great War. Lance Corporals Schofield and Blake must cross several miles of dangerous terrain to warn others not to attack a faux German retreat. If successful, they could save over 1,000 soldiers, including Blake's older brother.



1917 is a Homeric odyssey for our time. And the historical context is rich with meaning. The story begins on 6 April 1917--the day when the United States enters the war. Of course it will take some time before Americans arrive. Meanwhile, the Germans feign retreat, but it's a trap to draw British troops into the open.

The plot is simple and familiar. But the movie engages us in a realism that could only be enhanced by giving us uncomfortable cold wet muddy seats and a whiff of the overwhelming stench confronting the two messengers. As with any such terror plot, there is a race against time and the challenge of overcoming human, animal, and natural barriers while dodging enemy fire.

At times it seems our men are learning to adapt to the carnage, but we are artistically introduced to the notion that there can be a deep sense of compassion for the vulnerable. All is not lost even though a look above the trenches proclaims otherwise.

So, I'd see 1917 again, despite the negativity of some expert reviewers.

Besides, both my grandfathers survived the war in France along with some of my cousins. And, for what it's worth, the scenes make my visit along the Western Front all the more meaningful.

I wouldn't glorify war. But I do appreciate the capacity of ordinary men to recover from horrific experiences and return to civilian life as fathers and workers. But I can also appreciate the fact that many return with gaping mental wounds as deep as any crater often accompanied by missing limbs.

And of course, I won't forget the sacrifices of those who did not return.

Related Posts

They Shall Not Grow Old (a review)


The Western Front in France

The Western Front in Belgium


Connections

   My Page    www.suttong.com
   My Books   AMAZON     GOOGLE PLAY STORE
   FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton
   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton

Publications (many free downloads)
  Academia   Geoff W Sutton   (PhD)     
  ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton   (PhD)










Wednesday, February 6, 2019

They Shall Not Grow Old A Review by Sutton




They Shall Not Grow Old is a profoundly moving tribute to the soldiers of World War I. Peter Jackson (Director; coproducer with Clare Olssen) and his team combine enhanced archival films, photos, audio recordings, and artwork to bring us face to face with the adolescents and young men living and dying along the Western Front.

On the brief skeleton of the sequence of the war years, this documentary tells an extraordinary tale of ordinairy men from the farms, factories, and shops of Great Britain to the muddy graves of the ragged pattern of muddy trenches along the Western Front. Humour and games offer parenthetical relief from the abysmal struggle.

The colourisation and 3D conversion along with other technological modifications help us glimpse the soldier's world of 100 years ago. Many of us have read about the war and seen the old black and white clips bounce by at unnatural speeds. The marvel of technology helps us get closer to real people living and dying on orders from above. We wonder with the story tellers what it's like to live unwashed for days, smell the unberable stench of death, and cope with the raging thunder of artillery.

Whatever one thinks of war, the film is worth seeing to better understand this troubling period when millions died. Jackson worked with the extensive materials in the archives of the Imperial War Museum. Thus, the focus is on the British soldier. Although the film mentions other allies, it is worth remembering that millions of men and women from many nations were in combat zones in Europe and other places around the globe. Perhaps we can get a glimpse of what it might have been like for others from this in-depth look at these young British lads.

In the epilogue, Jackson mentions his grandfather and other connections to the war. That's what brings it home for me as both my grandfathers were in France. Considering the millions who died and survived with or without impairments, there are likely many millions currently alive who have grandparents who can pass along stories of their fathers, mothers, and uncles. Now is the time to remember the men and women of 1914-1918 and to keep a vigilant watch over the decisions our politicians make when it comes to starting or entering a war.




CAUTION: This film contains graphic and disturbing content and may not be suitable for all viewers.


Movie site They Shall Not Grow Old 2018.

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Related posts

1917 The Movie

The Western Front in France

The Western Front in Belgium

Connections

   My Page    www.suttong.com
   My Books   AMAZON     GOOGLE PLAY STORE
   FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton
   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton

Publications (many free downloads)
  Academia   Geoff W Sutton   (PhD)     
  ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton   (PhD)