War Requiem


Action / Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright62%
IMDb Rating6.610851

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Tilda Swinton Photo
Tilda Swinton as The Nurse
Sean Bean Photo
Sean Bean as The German Soldier
Alex Jennings Photo
Alex Jennings as Blinded Soldier
Nigel Terry Photo
Nigel Terry as Abraham
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
832.08 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S ...
1.52 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S 1 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing7 / 10

Music by Britten, Words by Owen

I was watching War Requiem which is Derek Jarman's conception of images of the music of Benjamin Britten and the poetry of Wilfrid Owen and I thought this was a work better left to the imagination. Beautiful, but something I might imagine hearing it would be a lot different.

Newsreel footage of World War I and more contemporary conflicts are mixed in with live pantomime like performances of various players and singers including Laurence Olivier in his farewell performance. Olivier plays a wheelchair bound veteran of World War I in whose eyes all the images are seen.

Benjamin Britten's War Requiem was originally composed for the dedication of the new cathedral in Coventry, the old one as well as the town itself pretty much blasted to smithereens by Hitler's Luftwaffe. The words are by Wilfrid Owen, the various verses he wrote are put to Britten's music. Owen was killed almost exactly a week before the Armistice was signed in 1918. Oddly enough both men were as one British friend of mine puts it, 'as gay as green shoes'.

This is Jarman's vision, not necessarily mine, not necessarily your's. I think that art like this is best left to the individual imagination. But Jarman does a vision of terrible beauty as W.B. Yeats put it.

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg5 / 10

song of madness

Derek Jarman's "War Requiem" is not a movie in the general sense of the term. The only dialogue is at the beginning. From there it's all images of soldiers, set to the tune of Benjamin Britten's* requiem of the same title. I'd say that the movie works as a look at the horrors of war. The focus is World War I, but it includes footage of later wars. The music offers a good contrast to the war, but at the same time it distracts.

This is the first Jarman movie that I've ever seen. It has its merits and its weaknesses. It turned out to be one of Jarman's final movies (he died of an AIDS-related illness in 1994). What the movie should do is force us to take a serious look at WWI. Not only did it senselessly kill millions and create a lost generation, but Versailles Negotiations set the stages for Hitler's rise to power, the Vietnam War, and the current bloodshed in the Middle East.

So the movie does a good job showing the horrors of the war, although I doubt that it's possible to portray to the full extent. It's not clear if Jarman meant for the emphasis to be on the war, or on the operatic soundtrack accompanying the scenes. The result is an OK, not great effort.

PS: Jarman, an openly gay man, fought Thatcher's proposed anti-gay laws in the '80s. I wonder what he would think now that the UK has marriage equality.

*Benjamin Britten's music more recently appeared in Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom".

Reviewed by dcovec8 / 10

Brilliant and Evocative Blend of Music and the Cinematographic Art

Jarman to a T: Brilliant, atmospheric, imagistic, eccentric, and sometimes homo-erotic. An incredible blend of one of the great 20th century musical works on (or rather against) war and the cinematographic art.

I've seen this film twice now. Some of the comments given by other reviewers seem to miss the point of the film- it is dark and sometimes jarring. Jarman uses historic footage, color and colorization as a technique to refocus the viewer's eyes and thoughts. Jarman is not interested in narrative so much as building a series of images that take the poem and music to a new place of understanding.

Perhaps this film is not for everyone- but then I would love to tie every politician to his or her chair and force its viewing.

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