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The Battle of the Somme (1916)

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Published on Aug 26, 2014

The Battle of the Somme is a 1916 British documentary and propaganda film, shot by two official cinematographers, Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell. The film depicts the British Army in the preliminary and early days of the battle of the Somme (1 July – 18 November 1916). The film had its première in London on 10 August 1916 and was released generally on 21 August. The film depicts trench warfare, showing marching infantry, artillery firing on German positions, British troops waiting to attack on 1 July, treatment of wounded British and German soldiers, British and German dead and captured German equipment and positions. The film was a great success, was watched by c.  20 million British people in the first six weeks of exhibition and the film was distributed in eighteen more countries. A second film covering a later phase of the battle, was released in 1917 as The Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks. In 1920 the film was preserved in the film archive of the Imperial War Museum and was inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. In 2005 the film was digitally restored and in 2008 was released on DVD. The Battle of the Somme is an early example of film propaganda, an historical record of the battle and a popular source of footage illustrating the First World War. (Wikipedia)

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