steve hawley


artists’ film and video

War Memorial is one part of an ongoing documentary project with Marion Hewittof the North West Film Archive based around 60 films which remain from WW2 of soldiers sending filmed messages home from the 14th Army in Burma and India.  Nominated best short documentary at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017.

The experimental film has been edited together from the Calling Blighty series, which was nearly 400 short films that were made in 1944-6 of servicemen (and a very few women) in the Far East recording a message to be shown in local cinemas to wives and families back home. – a sort of one way Skype of their day.  Produced by the Directorate of Army Welfare, these are remarkable and moving documents.  

War Memorial is a different take on these strange and emotional films, where the messages themselves recede to the background and the directorial decisions of the largely unknown army filmmakers accumulate to show a different view to the reassuring and brave faces of the men (and a few women), emphasizing instead doubt and uncertainty.

Thanks to North West Film Archive, BFI National Archives, Yorkshire Film Archive Imperial War Museum Film Hub North. BFI Film Audience Network.

War Memorial 2016 (trailer)