Anchored by an extraordinary performance from Alicia Vikander, James Kent's "Testament of Youth" bears comparison to many other superbly mounted costume dramas backed by the BBC, but this one has a special distinction: it chronicles the horrors that World War I inflicted on a generation of young English people from a woman's perspective.
Though the war was followed by a slew of books about it, Vera Brittan's account of her own experiences has been regarded as unique. It did not appear in the war's immediate aftermath. It was only later, inspired by filmmaker John Grierson's coining of the term "documentary," that she decided to craft a nonfiction account of her experiences, which became an instant bestseller upon its publication in 1933.
In turning the material into a two-hour movie, screenwriter Juliette Towhidi understandable elected to sacrifice some of the book's expansiveness by focusing on events leading up to the war and the war itself, while giving a glimpse of Brittain's activities as an ardent pacifist afterwards.
Connecting the dots. Lively discussion follows. Always free and open to the public.
Endorsed by Veterans for Peace, Chapter 27