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War and conflict documentaries showing at IWMN

23 Sep 2011

Six documentaries produced by University of Manchester MA students are to be screened at a special Imperial War Museum North event next week (27 Sept).

The films have been made by students as part of their MA course in War, Culture and History , which is Directed by Dr Ana Carden-Coyne from the School of Arts Histories and Cultures.

They include a look at the work of acclaimed ‘The Machine Gunners’ author Robert Westall; Manchester immigrants; WW2 soldiers from Scotland; the story of a farmer barred from war service and 'people's taxis' on both sides of the Northern Irish Troubles.

There is also an investigation into the effects of the anti-terror laws on young British Muslims living in Manchester and London today.

She said: “Most of us get our knowledge of war and conflict though TV and films, especially Hollywood dramas such as Spielberg’s Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan or the formula that brought Band of Brothers.

“Historians often struggle with making inroads into the way we understand war and conflict.

“Now the University of Manchester’s Masters’ graduates from the Centre for the Cultural History of War have produced six documentaries on issues of war and conflict in the past and in society today.”

Section 44k, directed by Sophie Wing, Kyle Alexander, Kathryn Butler:
Explores the effects of anti-terror legislation on young British Muslims, including the enhanced police powers of ‘stop and search’ and its relationship to rising Islamophobia in Britain. The film projects views of four young adults in Manchester and London and asks if the legislation threatens the liberties of the wider population.

On the Threshold, directed by Akram Safardi and Sebhatin Cebe
Two immigrants settle in Manchester – one from Jerusalem, the other Syria. They tell their story of life in Manchester, of longing for another place, of living on the threshold of the past and the present, while making the adjustment to a new city.

Harry's War, directed by Director: Daniel Harrison, with assistance from Ben Knowles
Harry Fackerly is a collector of all things militaria. As a young man, he wasn't allowed to join up and to fight in the Second World War. This film explores his reflections on the past through the lens of nostalgia, memory and one man’s passion for collecting war memorabilia.

Scottish Soldiers, directed by Rachel Kennedy and Emma Harrold
A unique insight into the memories of two soldiers, now in their 90s, who joined the Lothian Borders during the Second World War. One became a prisoner of war in Bavaria and the other brought POWs to Liverpool.

Machine Gunners, directed by Katherine Reed
The story of how acclaimed children’s writer Robert Westall came to write his first book based on his childhood memories of World War II. The result was the classic wartime story The Machine Gunners which features in the current IWM exhibition Once Upon a Wartime

The People's Taxis. From East to West, directed by Florian Pauls, Lee Dixon, Antrea Papaioannou
About  the ‘people's taxis’ in Belfast during the Troubles, a service offered from both sides of the conflict, and their change from offering a community service to a tourist attraction after the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.