What I’ve been watching: May films

There were some really powerful films this month, plus the British Silent Film Festival in lovely (chilly) Aldeburgh:

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012, directed by Benh Zeitlin)

British Silent Film Festival, Aldeburgh, Suffolk:

  •              Napoleon and the English Sailor (1909, directed by Alf Collins)
  •              Terje Vigen (1917, directed by Victor Sjöström)
  •              The Boatswain’s Mate (1924, directed by H Manning Haynes)
  •             The Skipper’s Wooing (1922, directed by H Manning Haynes)

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Documentary review: We Went To War

I do like (occasionally) to see a film that doesn’t quite work – here often lies long discussions and interesting channels of thought that a wholly successful film might not inspire. Such is, for me at least, We Went To War, directed by the legendary film maker Michael Grigsby, who died earlier this year.

WWTW is a documentary about three Vietnam vets who had been the subjects of Grigsby’s 1970 doc I Was A Soldier, in which these same people as very young men spoke directly to camera about the war, what they had seen, what they were frightened of, what the future might hold. It’s a bleak viewing experience. Grigsby wanted to revisit the men 40 years on, to find out what had happened to them and how Vietnam had influenced their lives. Had time healed their pain in any way? The answer is a resounding ‘no’.

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