The Seventieth anniversary of D-Day has just been held on in France in and around the beaches of Normandy attented by the US President, the Queen of England, the French President, Mr Putin and many other Heads of State and other luminories. War is horrendous and humanity has paid the price for it, but few battles were as famous, nor so horrific as the Allied attack to regain those parts of Europe lost to the Nazis. The bravery of the men was beyond words and we must never forget them nor this terrible War. If you want to know just how how terrible that initial assault on the beaches in June 1944 was, just wach the opening scenes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, Steven Spielberg‘s incomparable film aboout the horrors of war, created from a very personal, human story… I have never seen battle scenes so harrowing and so brilliantly depicted. The first men on the beaches literally were “cannon fodder”, the historical names for the ordinary soldiers who went in on foot to any battle, those who went in as ground troops. People have told me that they did not have the stomach to see 12 YEARS A SLAVE, it would be too upsetting. However as horrifying a story that it is, it happened 200 hundred years ago, when people were less educated and much more cruel, than 7o years ago, when we were supposed to be more civilized.
This is where film can be such a wonderful tool to remind people of what our humanity is supposed to be about and we should be reminded from time to time, however stomach churning it is. Sadly the budgets for these huge films is now going in other directions…the fantasy films, the action adventure films and many great stories are no longer being told.. our minds are being turned to mindless mush, but there we are, the things go in cycles and hopefully, eventually people will vote with their feet and better stories will return.