Stalag Luft Iii - One Man's Story (2018)

| Documentary, War
Told by WWII U.S. Eighth Air Force Bombardier Lt. Charles Woehrle, one of 10,000 prisoners in Stalag Luft III - depicted in the movie 'The Great Escape.' At age 93 this remarkable man and ... See full summary »

Director:

Louise Woehrle
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Status: Completed | See complete list of  »
Updated: 10 December 2018
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Told by WWII U.S. Eighth Air Force Bombardier Lt. Charles Woehrle, one of 10,000 prisoners in Stalag Luft III - depicted in the movie 'The Great Escape.' At age 93 this remarkable man and gifted storyteller relives flying bombing missions with the 'Mighty Eighth,' being shot down, his capture by the Nazi's and surviving two long years of uncertainty and tremendous hardship as a PoW. A saga filled with grit and grace Charles Woehrle is one of the thousands of heroes from the Greatest Generation who has much to teach us about war and about life.

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Genres:

Documentary | War

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Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

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Color
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User Reviews

 
A brilliant showcase of the triumph of the human spirit
8 April 2019 | by FlixChatterSee all my reviews

In the promotional material for the film fest, the film is billed as 'saga filled with grit and grace.' I couldn't agree more after seeing the film, I feel that it was how the late Lt. Charles Woehrle lived all his life... up until he passed away at the age of 98. It's truly a good thing that Mr. Woehrle's niece Louise is a gifted filmmaker, as she brought her uncle's story to life so beautifully.

Though this film depicts a harrowing story, it has such hopeful, uplifting tone, a certain quiet grace that shines through when the then 93-year-old Charles Woehrle told his story on camera. Director Louise Woehrle used footage from 13+ hours of interviews with her late uncle, and combined them with various photos, real footage, countless memorabilia, plus re-enactment scenes to tell an inspiring tale of survival.

Lit. Woehrle spent 22 months at Stalag Luft III prison camp along with other Allied officers. This film allowed him to provide the voice for his fellow comrades who couldn't tell their own stories. There's also a delightful story about how he received an unexpected gift from Patek Philippe, the luxury watch company from Geneva while he was a prisoner of war. I was so invested in the soldiers' stories that when I saw the footage of General Patton liberating the Allied prison camps, I literally cheered. As a movie fan, I was amused to see footage of classic Hollywood star Clark Gable who joined the Army Air Force and was part of the 351st Bombardment Group.

This is a film told with passion and care. The amount of meticulous details is astounding, and they're woven together seamlessly with the 'talking head' interviews and re-enactments to tell a cohesive story that's suspenseful, thrilling, deeply-touching and inspiring. I have to mention the wonderful music which mixes the classic theme from The Great Escape by Elmer Bernstein, as well as those made specifically for this film. Great music adds such richness to the whole experience and that is definitely the case here.

I'm glad I got to see this film and learn more about a real life hero, as well as others whose stories are told through him. A brilliant showcase of the triumph of the human spirit. Lit. Woehrle's and his comrades' experience certainly gives me a whole new appreciation about life and the freedom we enjoy every day.


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