War Is Hell

War is what happens when language fails. Its first casualty is innocence itself: whether soldier or civilian, surviving it leaves an indelible mark, and there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing the innocent. Despite the pain and trauma of war, this block also asks us: is bad peace worse than war?

Dying Of The Light
United Kingdom (6min), Dir: David Newton

When Monty, a 15 year old boy find himself the last man standing in the middle of the battle field during World War One.

Twenty Marks
United Kingdom (19min), Dir: Savas Alpaltun

In 1940 Nazi occupied France, Maximillian’s church is cursed by the aftermath of a great nearby revolt. The turmoil has left his church devastated, and thereby his priesthood. In these trying times, in fraternising and trading with the anti-Semitic regime, he can either replenish his career or his virtue, but not both.

United Kingdom (17min), Dir: David Bartlett

Berlin 1936. Hitler will soon host the Olympics, and the streets are being “cleansed” of Jews and Romani “Gypsies”. A seven-year-old Roma child hides in a decaying old Weimar Club, concealed by dancer Katharina who plans to escape Nazism and take Hélène to America – where, she says, everyone is welcome, no matter the colour of their skin. But Hélène won’t rest… Sneaking about the club, the little mouse sees everything.

United Kingdom (3min), Dir: Fatima Kried

Through a beautifully stripped back animation style, Yuluu looks back at the story of a young woman stranded in Beirut during the abrupt start of the 2006 war.

Guide On
United States (16min), Dir: Paige Compton

On her first day of basic training, Halle Varro, a young Army recruit, stands out among her peers as she competes to be the guidon bearer. Halle’s attitude of defiance and winning at all costs puts her in Drill Sergeant Mallett’s crosshairs. Can Halle rise to the challenge and become the first female guidon bearer?

The Last Step
Austria (4min), Dir: Stanislav Matveev

Animation. They say your life can flash before you when faced with moments of death. A young soldier walks through his memories.

This block will play on Monday 29th August at 1.30pm (GMT+1). The block, which contains some violence unsuitable for younger audiences, will play for approximately 65 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A with any of the filmmakers who are in attendance. View our 2021 programme here.

Grab FREE tickets to the online festival here.