SKU 3112


Humphrey Jennings

Fires were Started is a 1943 docudrama detailing a day in the life of London's firemen, who battled heroically to contain the spread of fires after German bombings of the city's docks in 1940-41.  None of the people shown in the film is a professional actor; thus, how well the "acting" was in the film was entirely dependent on the talents of the 'ordinary' people portrayed.  The film combined actual footage with some staged re-enactments; but the re-enactments of the nighttime bombing raids are realistic enough to render moot any commentary about the film not being 'realistic'. 

The Silent Village is a what-if portrayal of the German massacre in Lidice the previous summer after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich.  Rather than simply tell the story of the town's obliteration, this short film is set in a Welsh village similar to the Bohemian town in both population make-up and way of life.  By creating a 'Lidice' in the United Kingdom, it was hoped that audience goers would identify and sympathize with the fate of Lidice's villagers ... and realize that, with defeat, massacres in Central and Eastern Europe could very well be repeated in a defeated England. 

Finally, Words for Battle, a 1941 short film, is a documentary about the Battle of Britain, which was meant to rally the people of the country to the island's defense.

DVD-R is in English with no subtitles.  Approx.  107 mins. combined total.  

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