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Churchill's First World War

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Review

This is one of those docs that has it all: a little-known story about a popular figure, illustrated with plenty of good archive clips and evocative letters. I’m sure I’m not alone in having had no idea of the rollercoaster of Churchill’s fortunes during the First World War, which veered from the Cabinet to trench-holding as an officer on the Western Front and helping devise tank warfare. We get a vivid sense of what a reckless character he was, part visionary, part figure of fun.

The combination led to disaster in the Dardanelles, where his plan for a grand stroke of strategy sank with several battleships. In the aftermath, he lost his position as First Lord of the Admiralty. Then, after a restless summer on the sidelines, he did something it’s hard to imagine any other politician doing: he went to join an infantry regiment in the trenches.

Summary

Drama-documentary charting Winston Churchill's road to redemption after his disgrace following the Dardanelles disaster during the First World War through intimate letters he wrote to his wife Clementine. It reveals how he was instrumental in the creation of the tank and notes his contribution to the Allied victory in 1918 as Minister of Munitions, demonstrating how the future prime minister was shaped by his experiences of the Great War.

Cast & Crew

Winston Churchill Adam James
Clementine Churchill Verity Marshall
Director Adam Kemp
Producer Adam Kemp

Documentary

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