“1917” is a 2019 British war film set in France in 1917 during World War I. It depicts two British soldiers on a dangerous mission to deliver a message to the front line. Directed by Sam Mendes. 119 minutes.
Though the story of the film is fictitious, the screenplay is partially based on the episodes told to Mendes by his paternal grandfather Alfred H. Mendes, who belonged to the 1st Battalion King’s royal rifle corps during WWI.
On 6 April 1917, the German army has pulled back from a sector of the Western Front in northern France. It was a strategic withdrawal (Operation Alberich) to lure the allied forces into the Hindenburg Line.
Two young British lance corporals, William Schofield (George MacKay) and Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are ordered by General Erinmore to carry a message to Colonel Mackenzie of the Second Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, calling off a scheduled attack the next morning that would jeopardize the lives of 1,600 soldiers, including Blake’s brother Joseph, a lieutenant.
The film was created by connecting many one-shot long takes without transitions by use of digital technology to make it appear as if the whole film was filmed in one shot. Its visual effects are amazing. The audience can have an experience as if they accompanied the two soldiers and watched the whole thing up close, with a sense of immersion like the players of an open-world video game.
In the 92nd Academy Awards, the film won three awards: Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Mixing.