OSF reveals a lost treasure trove of personal filmed messages home – called Calling Blighty – from British troops fighting in Burma during World War Two.
To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day, the North West Film Archive embarked on an incredible project to contact as many of the veterans and families of the men featured in these films as possible – and bring them together for a recreation of the original war time screening.
Using archive, letters and photographs, along with interviews with veterans and relatives, the film reveals some extraordinary stories. These include the woman in her 70s who never met her father. She gets to see him on screen for the first time and then visits his grave in Burma. We also meet a soldier whose family thought he was in the catering corp when he was actually in the legendary Chindit special operations unit, and also an honoured war hero who could never tell his family why he won his medal.
1h | Channel 4
| Executive producers - Emma Morgan
| Distribution - Digital Rights Group
| Credit - Oxford Scientific films
Messages Home: Lost Films of the British Army
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Best documentary of the week
This is a Beautiful television programme
Radio Times - Pick of the day
The messages from a distant warzone, spoken directly to loved ones, are extraordinary to watch…
…amazing footage is the centrepiece of this poignant documentary
Telegraph 4 stars
Messages Home: Lost Films of the British Army… offered a touching window into a vanished black and white world when brave men were bashful.
Messages Home is full of stories of family and bravery, full of poignant, heart-warming, and heart-breaking scenes. The Forgotten Army will certainly be remembered by those who tune in