Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The pen is mightier than the sword

How do you get people to listen when they have shunned you in the past?

One old soldier did it by persuading Peter Kosminksy to make a film about the work of his colleagues in Palestine during the Mandate after the war:

'The letter was from an old soldier. Complimenting our programme about peacekeeping in Bosnia, he asked us to consider making a film about an earlier peacekeeping effort in which he had played a part. A hundred thousand British soldiers had been tasked with holding the line between the Arabs and Jews in Palestine. Within three short years this mighty force was hemmed in and harried by a tiny guerrilla band of Jewish insurgents. Exhausted and demoralised, the soldiers returned home to find that the nation wanted nothing to do with them. No memorial was erected to mark their campaign; he and his fellow Palestine veterans were denied the right to march to the Cenotaph in formation. Their apparent defeat at the hands of a rag-tag force of amateurs had sullied the reputation of a British military still basking in its victory in the Second World War. Like Vietnam veterans in years to come, they found themselves shunned, their struggle quickly forgotten. Would we consider making a film about those three arduous years, to set the record straight?'

The result was shown on Channel 4 over the last 4 weeks and is well worth watching.

The Promise

Here's a trailer:

The film attracted a lot of criticism from Jewish commentators. Here is part of an interview with Al Jazeera, which includes criticism and support from a Jewish audience:

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