6.6/10
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9 user 15 critic

War Requiem (1989)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 6 January 1989 (UK)
A movie with no spoken dialogue, it is set against the music and lyrics of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" which includes poetry by World War I soldier Wilfred Owen reflecting the horrors ... See full summary »

Director:

Derek Jarman

Writer:

Derek Jarman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nathaniel Parker ... Wilfred Owen
Tilda Swinton ... The Nurse
Laurence Olivier ... The Old Soldier
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Mother
Rohan McCullough Rohan McCullough ... Enemy Mother
Nigel Terry ... Abraham
Owen Teale ... The Unknown Soldier
Sean Bean ... The German Soldier
Alex Jennings ... Blinded Soldier
Claire Davenport Claire Davenport ... Charge Sister / Britannia
Spencer Leigh Spencer Leigh ... Soldier 1
Milo Bell Milo Bell ... Soldier 2
Richard Stirling Richard Stirling ... Soldier 3
Kim Kindersley Kim Kindersley ... Soldier 4
Stuart Turton Stuart Turton ... Soldier 5
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Storyline

A movie with no spoken dialogue, it is set against the music and lyrics of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" which includes poetry by World War I soldier Wilfred Owen reflecting the horrors of war. There is no linear story or dialogue. It's imagery reflects Owen's story, that of other soldiers, and a nurse during World War I. It also includes actual footage of contemporary wars, including World War II, Vietnam, and Angola. Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of Nathaniel Parker (Wilfred Owen). See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Sean Bean Deaths (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

War Requiem, Op. 66
Composed and conducted by Benjamin Britten
Based on poems by Wilfred Owen
Soloists: Galina Vishnevskaya, Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with The Bach Choir, The London Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Highgate School Choir
Music played by The Melos Ensemble of London and The London Symphony Orchestra
Organist: Simon Preston
Original recording courtesy of The Decca Record Company Limited, England, Catalogue No. 414 383-2
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User Reviews

 
The Artifice of Opera, The Failure of War
19 February 2014 | by ThurstonHungerSee all my reviews

Maybe it would have helped to have listened to the music first and more often. At times I would try to follow the poem/lyrics and just get lost.

Other times I would watch Tilda Swinton, and then go back and time her. Six whopping minutes of watching her run through her emotions. Sorry this was a breaking point for me... It reminded me that she does a sleep in a museum exhibit sometimes, and sort of made me dislike all actors.

Snowballs and pianos and soldiers, that was quite a scene, but it's small humanity gone wrong within the framework of war is lost in the bombast of the soundtrack for me.

I did find the use of the gruesome footage towards the finale had an interesting effect. Other footage was used throughout but typically cannons and shots from the trenches paled in comparison to some of those shots towards the end, that many viewers might have a difficult time with. I know I did, on two levels.

First it made me move from disliking actors to disliking humanity. War is failure but never more blatantly so than seeing the anguish and destruction of a single man, no matter what his uniform indicates. But again these images, like so many other lingering scenes, went on long enough to alter their affect from powerful to overpowering. Instead of feeling the loss of the individual, I felt like I was being thrust into a viewing of Faces of the Dead (or whatever that cult film is called which I have no desire to see).

The opera itself was torture enough for me. With time and exposure, I could perhaps appreciate it more, or become a fan of it. Not so with the carnage of war.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 1989 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

War Requiem See more »

Filming Locations:

UK

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (as spectral recording Dolby Stereo SR in selected theatres)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color
See full technical specs »

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