Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Testament of Youth Was Brilliant

I’m a self-proclaimed HUGE fan of period dramas.  Being a total history nerd, I love immersing myself in a well filmed, well-acted, well written historical drama and 2014’s Testament of Youth was just that.  Based on Vera Brittain’s memoir of the First World War; the film stars Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina, Ex-Machina) as Vera and Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones) as her fiancée Roland.  Focusing less on the battles and violence and more on the emotional weight of the conflict, the film manages to instill the fear of the unknown in the viewer as the men and women at home in England wait with bated breath for news of their loved ones.  Vera’s fiancée, brother, and childhood friends are all sent off to the front which inspires her to abandon her long sought enrollment at Oxford to become a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment at the Front.  As she spends time waiting for news of her loved ones Vera helps to heal both allied and German soldiers.  This humanizes the conflict and shows how the Great War was not just a war between countries but a war humanity faced against itself.  Testament of Youth shows how close we came to the brink of destruction and how despite all the tragedy and suffering endured by those who were there, we still managed to emerge on the other side with hope for the future.

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