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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Testament of Youth (2015)

The British really are obsessed with World War I.  It was the crashing end of the highly structured class system in Britain, with old families still able to maintain big houses and equally big staff well into the 20th century, despite all.  Never mind that it was a false economy built on the backs of the sprawling British colonies, and that their insistence on maintaining that to the detriment of almost everyone led quite directly to World War II.  France was equally to blame with their priority on making Germany pay for the decimation of their countryside, no doubt about that.  It was a disaster, and yet none of the films about it really capture the enormity of it’s impact on history.  The cost in this film is purely personal.  Young men go gallantly off to war and come home crippled, maimed, or dead.  And in very large numbers, which changes everything.  Women volunteer as nurses and put themselves in the path of danger, but also in the know about just how terrible it all is.  They lose their friends, their lovers, and their siblings in large numbers.  The rich rushed into battle to do their duty rather than hiding out behind the lines and therefore everyone was affected.  A generation was changed and this is yet another very good depiction of the enormity of that.  Well worth a watch, very well done, and yet there really is nothing new here.

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