"1917 is Sam Mendes’s most purely ambitious and passionate picture... It’s bold, thrilling film-making." ★★★★★ Guardian Winner of Best Director + Best Movie (Drama) Golden Globes Awards

Showing Times

The day is 6 April 1917, France.  It's not quite 'all quiet on the Western Front', but the troops are enjoying a rare respite after a retreat by the Germans. Reality reasserts itself when an aerial reconnaisance reveals the retreat to be a trap.  The two British battalions - 1600 men - scheduled for a 'big push' the next morning will certainly be slaughtered unless word can be got to them.  With the comms lines down, two young signalmen (Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay) are despatched to avert disaster.  They must cross the exposed no man's land in broad daylight, navigate the network of booby-trapped German trenches, and meet the enemy face to face if they are to get word in time.  It's a Stygian oddysey for which neither is the least prepared.

Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) draws on his grandfather's WW1 stories for this "amazingly audacious film; as exciting as a heist movie, disturbing as a sci-fi nightmare." (Guardian)  It's a particularly contemporary look at heroism; acknowledging that to act with courage often means overcoming fear rather than not experiencing it at all, so we see our two lads panic-stricken, terrified and even in tears at times.  Another defining element is the decision to present their journey as if it was filmed in one take, giving an almost virtual reality, real time experience to their surreal journey.  But, says Variety:  "Astonishing as the filmmaking can be at times, it’s Mendes’ attention to character, more than the technique, that makes 1917 one of 2019’s most impressive cinematic achievements."

Thu 16 Jan at 15:00 is our Cinemates screening, when we invite the audience to stay for a bit of discussion after the film.  Tickets £5. Click here to book tickets for this particular screening.


Film Information

119 mins

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