“My subject is war, and the pity of war” – Wilfred Owen
Focusing on those whose poetic output remains perhaps the most impactful and influential The Pity of War: Poets at the Front explores the experiences of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon and their fellow poets including Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves and Vera Brittain, in this insightful documentary, available to buy on DVD from 28th September.
Through the extensive use of powerful archive footage, penetrating analysis from academics, biographers and writers including Emmy Award®-winning historian Professor Jay Winter, Pat Barker, Booker Prize-winning author of the Regeneration trilogy and stirring readings of their works by actors Sam Marks, Tom Milligan, Joe Bannister and Katherine Manners, the documentary delves into what the poets saw, what they felt, what they did, and the resultant poetry forged in this crucible of war.
The documentary concentrates on two major creative figures of the conflict, the soldier-poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, their visceral shock and horror of what they experienced at the Front and the scale and nature of the pain they endured. It looks at the raw power of their poetry which evoked not only their fear on the battlefield but also challenged the jingoistic spirit of those who glorified warfare, leaving a legacy whose impact endures to this day
The Pity of War: Poets at the Front features a powerful original score by the documentary’s co-director and producer Adrian Munsey, the creative force behind Odyssey Television and its extensive catalogue of documentaries.
This documentary is the first in a series of Odyssey programmes about writers, with Rudyard Kipling: A Secret Life, E.M. Forster: His Longest Journey and What Was Virginia Woolf Afraid Of? coming out on DVD later this year.