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Christmas Under Fire (1941) | BFI National Archive

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Published on Dec 5, 2008

Christmas Under Fire (1941) | BFI National Archive. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/subscribetotheBFI

Despite the Blitz, it's 'business as usual' as England prepares for Christmas in this propaganda film intended for US audiences. It's a Christmas of holly and barbed wire, guns and tinsel, yet the British, we are told, are determined to make it as cheerful as possible.

"England is fighting for her life", asserts the American narrator, but it is admiration rather than pity that the film seeks to evoke. The filmmakers achieve this with emotions bigger than most 10-minute films could contain, as we watch plucky Londoners creating a subterranean Christmas on Underground platforms and the choristers of King's College sing their hearts out. While no doubt intended to encourage US support in the War, 'Christmas Under Fire' ultimately offers a portrait of a nation "unbeaten, unconquered and unafraid". (Poppy Simpson)

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