The War Requiem

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 6

62%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 345
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Movie Info

This experimental film synthesizes the poetry of Wilfred Owen, wordless reenactments of events from Owen's life, stock footage of 20th-century wars and music by composer Benjamin Britten. During World War I, British soldier Owen (Nathaniel Parker) is mortified by the examples of cruelty that surround him in the trenches. He combats these terrifying images by maintaining hope in his love for an army nurse (Tilda Swinton). But he also begins to accept his fate as another battlefield sacrifice.

Cast & Crew

Laurence Olivier
The Old Soldier
Owen Teale
The Unknown Soldier, Unknown Soldier
Sean Bean
The German Soldier, German Soldier
Don Boyd
Producer
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Critic Reviews for War Requiem

All Critics (6) | Fresh (6)

Audience Reviews for War Requiem

  • Jan 21, 2010
    The powerful "War Requiem" starts with an old man(Laurence Olivier, in his last screen appearance, more or less) being pushed in his wheelchair by a nurse(Tilda Swinton) while regaling her with tales of his experiences in World War I. That was the same war that poet Wilfred Owen(Nathaniel Parker) served in and died towards the end of. On the surface, he is the subject of this film, as it follows him in a nonsequential fashion from basic training through the inhumanity he witnessed in the trenches, with rare moments of caring and sympathy. Along with this haunting imagery, there is also a good deal of Christian symbolism, which this being a Derek Jarman film, might offend one or two people. To describe his experiences, Owen used letters home and poetry which resonates to the present day(while the main setting is World War I, archival footage is shown from more recent wars) and the power of the written word is key here. Ironically, this is a movie without words, all sound coming from a requiem written by Benjamin Britten which contributes to form a grieving tribute to fallen soldiers of all eras.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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