The Blitz: 80th Anniversary
Marking the 80th anniversary of The Blitz, Bruce Vigar’s documentary narrates the buildup, main events and aftermath of the German bombings that shook Britain in 1940 and 1941. A collection of interviews and archive footage retraces the historical facts but also gives insight into the atmosphere that was felt throughout the country, and the attitude that came to be known as the Blitz Spirit. In spite of the fear, a feeling of determination took hold of every citizen, as German air raids targeted several cities in the UK and continued to bomb the country heavily, and almost without respite, between 7th September 1940 and 11th May 1941.
The footage depicting those times adds poignancy to the personal stories related in the documentary and gives a clearer idea of the extent of the devastation. One clip shows rows of people stretched on the London underground platforms to sleep when shelters reached maximum capacity. Another scene sees rescuers search through the rubble of collapsed buildings searching for individuals who may have been trapped underneath. Former RAF members explain how they felt as they faced each day of battle, and they share some of the memories that remain vividly imprinted in their minds.
The one-hour documentary gives an excellent overview of The Blitz by weaving the personal anecdotes of witnesses with historical information. The relatively brief running time and limited footage means that it never fully transports the viewer into that world, and the political background and psychological impact of the bombings are not delved into in much depth. In spite of these limitations, The Blitz is a solid introduction to a pivotal historical event that brought the nation to its knees but also served to demonstrate its people’s admirable sense of resilience.
The Blitz: 80th Anniversary is released digitally on demand on 10th May 2021.