At what price Peace?
It certainly feels like apt timing to release ‘Resistance’, the directorial debut by Amit Gupta. Winter is upon us, the light has turned grey, evenings shorter and the somberness of Remembrance Day has invaded our thoughts, occupying them with the basic human emotions of loss, fear and confusion.
Such reflection needs to happen. World War I was labeled The Great War, The War To End All Wars. Our forefathers hoped it would be the end, yet we are currently in the longest running war this country has ever seen in modern times, with no end in sight. The ordinary people that are sacrificed in these conflicts at the behest of their leaders, are often the least focused upon. With other tales of propaganda heroics being pushed to the front lines.
‘Resistance’ is a fictional piece from Owen Sheers in his first published novel of the same title. It is sombre work. Focusing on a haunting outcome of the Second World War where the Nazis are slowly systematically seizing total control of England and Wales. Rather than the dramatic bombastic fair we normally experience in ‘War’ movies, here everything is stripped back to the what is not only ‘expected’ of us, but how the seeds of humanity struggle to grow/survive in times of conflict.
The women of the Olchon Valley slowly wake up to the bleak realisation that their men have all disappeared into the valley fog overnight. They don’t know why, and in this situation, no news, is bad news. The vacuum left by the mens departure is quickly filled with fear, dread, isolation, cold Winter and a German Patrol who have been sent on a ‘mission’ to the valley.
So begins the nightmare. These ordinary women are now the last line of defence for everything they believe in. But the lines of survival and collaboration are slowly enveloped by the mists rolling into the valley.
There are occult undertones to the Nazi patrols cabalistic mission. They lock down and isolate the valley. It may as well not exist, almost like being trapped in Purgatory, but potential salvation for some. The sense of dread is built up by the barren landscape and weather, Only heightening tensions in the various ensuing forced relations between the occupiers and occupied. Now, the most minute details, events, dialogue, gestures and expressions are almost thunderous.
The quality of acting is excellent all round from relatively unknowns, and more powerful because of this. Michael Sheen makes brief appearances, bringing another layer of gravitas, but being such a recognisable face, it does momentarily jolt you out of the sinister confusing world we are all now inhabiting.
Though not overtly political, it does raise questions of what War is. Everyone is behaving on ‘orders’ or what they believe is expected of them during such times, when all anyone wants to do is get on with their daily lives. Rather than trying to maintain the ideologies of ‘Leaders’ where the weak are horrifically sacrificed to maintain credibility.
Resistance may not sound like the type of movie you should rush out to see, but given the timing of it’s release, it’s the type of movie you should see. Though it’s not a perfectly crafted work, the greatest parts of humanity come from it’s imperfections. And this movie rightly lingers in the mind long after the mists have departed.
Resistance is released in UK cinemas on 25th November.
We have 2 tickets to a private Soho Screening of Resistance on 23rd November (next Wed eve). To be in the draw get in touch [email protected]