One of the most beautiful and captivating documentaries in recent memory, Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War – which aired on the BBC back in 2019 – is getting a much-deserved home release from beloved label Network.
Built almost entirely from stunningly restored materials recorded in over 400 films, diaries and photographs by a prolific – and, until now – totally unknown filmmaker, Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War is a mesmerising time capsule that offers a compelling snapshot of an unbelievable life. Capturing a visceral sense of wartime life in Bombay, Burma and Nepal, the film is at its core the story of a soldier – but alongside his military adventures, we are also treated to glimpses of Harry’s homelife. The result is perhaps the fullest and most affecting look at a life ever seen on film. By the end of the 90 minutes, we feel like we have lived this life with Harry and gotten to know him on a deeply personal level.
The restoration work done on the materials is often stunning, while the narrative structure that takes us on a journey with Harry is marvellously executed. Narrated by Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, Rocketman), this beautiful and poignant film offers a mesmerising time capsule and a loving tribute to one of countless men from the generation that sacrificed everything to win us the freedoms we enjoy today.
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War is on Blu-ray and DVD 28 June 2021 from Network