UK, 1965 (MIFF 1966, Programme 23)
Director: Lionel Rogosin
Lionel Rogosin has used original techniques in gathering material for all three films he has made so far. In his first film, On the Bowery, shown at the 1957 Melbourne Festival, he used a hidden camera, a crew disguised as derelicts, and shot authentic sequences of down-and-out drunks in the slums of New York. For his second film he pretended to be collecting footage for a film on Negro folk music in South Africa, then took his undeveloped film to America and released Come Back Africa, a powerful protest against apartheid. His present film consists of miles of hitherto unseen archive material on the horrors of war, sequences shot at a present day party in Britain, and interviews with some old retired soldiers.
He combined all this material without commentary, but with telling visual irony, by juxtaposing scenes of the party and reminiscences of the old soldiers with the most potent scenes of wreckage, human anguish, and the aftermath of the atom bomb. Some critics object to the - in their view - unfair implication that the inane drunks of the party are the sort of people who have been responsible for wars throughout the ages. Most other critics, however, commend the film for its unpretentious and pungent comment on war; its insight, originality, and powerful message of peace.