Testament of Youth World premiere – London Film Festival
By Alisa Narbutas
Films about war seem to be a popular thing in the Film Industry. From “All Quiet on the Western Front” to “Schindler’s List”, all seem to be concentrating on one topic – suffering, people dying and bringing as much tragedy on screen as possible. So what makes the new film “Testament of Youth” by Director James Kent, so special? It centers on a women – young Vera Brittain. She might not be wearing a soldier’s uniform, but she definitely has more strength and courage than a few men combined.
It’s 1914 and Vera just got into the elite Oxford University, met the man of her dreams and isn’t afraid of the future. But as it turns out the future itself had other plans, including fighting a 4-year World war.
The original memoirs written by Vera Brittian from 1933 were turned into a script by Juliette Towhidi, who made sure that the story of this brave young lady was told on screen.
Even though the wardrobe department did an amazing job, I still think the film was missing something, like the emotional state that Vera was really in at that time and the anger she had for losing nearly everyone who was close to her to war. Still Testament of Youth delivers a lot of great scenes and the cast is well picked and did their best to express Vera’s story authentically.
The Videoplugger Team was part of last night’s world premiere, which was held outside the famous Odeon in Leicester Square.
The film, which is produced by the BBC, focuses on the difficult times during the 1st World War, so I asked Director James Kent if he thinks that people underestimated the war back then. He proclaimed that even the main character Vera, who specifically encouraged her father to let her brother join the force, thought it would be over soon.“They all thought they would be safe, but unfortunately that wasn’t how things turned out.”
“People thought the war would be over by Christmas, but it went on for 4 years”
(Dir. James Kent)
We also had the opportunity for a lovely chat with one of the cast’s members – Jonathan Bailey, who took on the role of Geoffrey Thurlow, one of the friends of Vera’s Brother, Edward. When asked if he read the memoirs of Vera Brittain’s Letters from a Lost Generation, he told us he “highly recommends it to everyone, because the story is just brilliant and the fact she kept all of her letters and managed to write down her memoirs, is amazing”.
“In our generation, everyone’s tweeting, everyone’s emailing, there is no legacy to pass on, we are just so spoiled”
(Actor, Jonathan Bailey)
If you want to see more of the cast and crew of the Testament of Youth, be sure to check out our YouTube Channel.