The first feature-length documentary record of combat, the 1916 film The Battle of the Somme, will be screened in St. John’s with live musical accompaniment.
The screening takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.
The film is a compelling documentary record of one of the key battles of the First World War and the first feature-length documentary record of combat. Seen by over 20 million people after its release in August 1916, the film allowed the civilian home-front audience to share the experiences of the front-line soldier and the brutal reality of the war.
“It will be the only screening in North America and it’s basically a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this groundbreaking film as it was meant to be seen.”
The British High Commission, in partnership with Memorial University, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre is offering a free public screening of The Battle of the Somme, along with a live performance of Laura Rossi’s 1996 accompanying musical score performed by the Memorial University Chamber Orchestra.
“The British High Commission office in Ottawa is screening this film in St. John’s as a gift to the people of the province,” said Dr. Luke Ashworth, chair of Memorial’s WW100 steering committee. “It will be the only screening in North America and it’s basically a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this groundbreaking film as it was meant to be seen.”
In recognition of the university’s unique origin as a living memorial to those who fought and died in the First World War, and later re-dedicated to those who died in the Second World War, 300 tickets are being made available for Memorial University students who wish to attend. Tickets can be picked up at the Student Experience Office (UC-3005) before Sept. 22.
There is also a limited number of tickets available for the general public. They can be picked up at the Arts and Culture Centre box office or by phoning (709) 729-3900.