Based on the true story of Louisa Gould, the drama is set during World War II on the Nazi-occupied island of Jersey. Lou took in an escaped Russian POW and hid him over the war's course. ... See full summary »
Billy Ray Lansing, a former covert agent turned survivalist, discovers that the foster program he is using to help a young girl is actually a human trafficking network. Lancing heads overseas to find the girl and shut down the operation.
Fire breaks out in the plastic factory and the entire building burns down. Benedek Kiss and Ádám Hoffer are held responsible for the fire. When a dead body is found under the ruins of the building, the police arrest both of them.
When an allied charge on the German lines goes horribly wrong, one man finds himself stranded in No Man's Land. Reuniting with two other survivors, together they must help each other as they charge into the unknown across the muddy wasteland as the Germans quickly hone in on the desperate trio. Tensions rise between the soldiers as they are surrounded by explosions of grenades with the constant rattle of machine guns in their ears. Time is running out as they make their way back over enemy lines as an impending attack could soon take them out.Written by
At one point rain on location became so intense that cast and crew were caught in mud up to one foot deep. This meant that moving across even a single set became arduous and time-consuming. See more »
Sgt Major Wilkins looks at his watch several times during the film, the watch is of a much more modern style than found at the time and it is also a quartz movement as is evident by the the ticking of the second hand which jumps one second intervals instead of a steady sweeping movement made by mechanical movements. See more »
Forbidden Ground from the perspective of Cultural Studies
According to Stuart Hall, Cultural Studies' outlook takes for granted the fact that knowledge in all its forms is always, unavoidably, contextually bound. With this in mind, and given that Cultural Studies is the study of an ever-changing culture, I think that spectators should analyze Forbidden Ground not only as a complex contextual intervention or as a representation/dramatization of certain ideologies and mores within the framework of WW1, but also as a film that thanks to its powerful and emotional leading characters, it gives an in-depth exploration of the human conscience that certainly appeals to present-day audiences.
Pierre Mackerey in 'A Theory of Literary Production' (1978) says that 'what is important is what the text does not say'. For this reason, I would like to bring to the fore the symbolic meaning that Forbidden Ground conveys. Actually, silences and close-ups are recurrent throughout the movie to create this dramatic atmosphere. I should first point out that the character of Grace Wilkins (Denai Gracie) is essential to offer an accurate view of women's relegation to the private sphere at the time. From a critical perspective, and as Grace is usually shown in closed spaces, this could be interpreted as a subtle way of underlining the tragic circumstances suffered by some women, especially the ones who due to their impure actions, were considered to threaten patriarchy. In this respect, we should also keep in mind, for example, the long-standing Nature/Culture dichotomy that, according to Sherry Ortner in 'Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?' (1982) or Simone De Beauvoir in 'The Second Sex' (1949), relegates women to being the 'Other' of men. And yet, this view is cleverly reversed in the scene where Sergeant Wilkins (Johan Earl) finally returns to England and kneels on the graveyard. However, a description of this particular scene would reveal too much information and I prefer leaving this task for any avid spectator who really wants to take a look 'beyond the canvas', that is, for those who are eager to explore the psychological aspects of the human being.
Thus, human connection is more important than any other issue in Forbidden Ground. In this respect, we should pay attention to the soldiers' uniforms and the lack of distinguishing badges or patches that identify them. Director Johan Earl states that he wanted them to symbolize every soldier on the battlefield and not just one unit. And the battlefield itself could be a metaphor of our daily lives too, for life in itself is a roller-coaster, a story within the story, always a constant struggle.
Forbidden Ground connects with problems that affect most audiences, pointing out the cruel reality and imperfections of those past times but, at the same time, it gives a final message to understand Sergeant Wilkins' physical and mental journey. This said, perhaps it is not coincidental that, in the above mentioned scene, he is shown by a river/lake, for the contact with Nature has always been said to symbolize a new beginning or at least, the chance to be redeemed from past mistakes and start from scratch.
The whole team and cast that made this movie possible should be praised for their dedication and effort (Adrian Powers did a brilliant job co-directing and editing). But above all, I should say that Johan Earl deserves a special mention. Earl's work as a screenwriter, director and actor is absolutely outstanding and all his artistic decisions only enhance the high quality of the movie. With this in mind, I should conclude by asserting that Forbidden Ground is an excellent film to watch and a good exercise to unveil its hidden meanings. For this reason, it could also be taken to the academic field.
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