Harry Patch | 06.06.2014 18:38 | London
A TOUR OF WHITEHALL – remembering the victims and opponents of World War 1
Saturday 28 June, 1.30pm, Parliament Square
But Whitehall has an alternative history, a history of protests by suffragettes, soldiers and workers. Join us to explore that history. (Dressing up is optional. But it would be great if people came as anti-war suffragettes or ‘unknown soldiers’ – and the more Archduke Ferdinands and Duchess Sophies, the better!)
‘Remembering the Real WWI’ presents:
Abel Gance’s anti-war film,
Friday 27 June, 7pm, Cock Tavern, Phoenix Rd. NW1 1HB, Euston
By 1918, after almost four years of war, European society was in a state of shock. French soldiers had mutinied and the Russian revolution had shown an alternative to capitalism and war. But there still seemed no end to the slaughter.
In this atmosphere, Abel Gance resolved to make a film exposing ‘the horror of war’. The result was J’Accuse, a complex love story that culminates in stunning scenes of the war dead rising from their graves ‘to see if their sacrifice was worth anything at all.’ A veteran himself, Gance used French soldiers to play these ‘zombies’ – many of whom, in real life, went on to fight and die in the last battles of WW1.
Gance was inspired by the idea that ‘if all the dead came back, the war would stop at once.’ A romantic delusion? Yes, certainly, but more radical and thought-provoking than the barrage of TV programmes presently commemorating the centenary of the conflict.
It’s nothing like seeing the whole film but for the highlights of J’Accuse see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH0ckIJg8Ys (it’s better without the music!)
The Imperial War Museum will be opening its new WW1 exhibition on Saturday 19 July.
The museum was set up in 1917 by the very same generals and politicians who started the war. Join us on that day to commemorate the fact that it wasn’t victorious generals and politicians that ended the conflict, it was mutinying soldiers and striking workers – and they did so in revolutions that, almost, toppled the entire capitalist system.
For more details see: http://therealww1.wordpress.com/