The Battle Of The Somme Essays

1863 Words Oct 18th, 2015 8 Pages
There is much confusion surrounding the film The Battle of the Somme, which has arisen as a result of the recurring debate concerning both the purpose of the film itself as well as the truthfulness of its content. The first issue is that of the rationale behind the creation of the film, with one side arguing that it was created for propaganda purposes and the other arguing that it was not. The second issue is that of the authenticity and subsequent significance of the film, with one side arguing that the film offers an honest portrayal of the horrors of warfare and the other, again, arguing that it does not. In light of this debate, this essay will, through the fair analysis of both sides, critically assess whether The Battle of the Somme was indeed a British propagandist ploy aimed at bolstering support for the war effort, as well as whether the film’s reputation - for conveying the realities of warfare on film for the first time in the history of cinema - is in fact legitimate.

Following its premiere in the theatre district of London (the West End) on the morning of the 10th of August 1916, the general reaction to The Battle of the Somme was unanimous. As professed by Bioscope, the leading journal in cinema trade at the time, nothing – not even the description of an eye-witness nor the illustration by an artist – could compare with the film’s depiction of modern warfare through its “marvellous series of pictures.” Furthermore, the film’s producer stated that it made any…

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