Somme centenary screening in Chichester

Somme centenary

Somme centenary

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Chichester Cinema at New Park is staging a special 100th-anniversary screening of The Battle of the Somme.

Spokeswoman Carol Godsmark said: “100 years ago, a special 1916 Documentary, The Battle of the Somme, was screened at Pooles Pictures, the past Corn Exchange on East Street, Chichester. Remarkably, over 20 million tickets nationwide were sold for the film, half of the UK population.

“On October 23 at noon, the Chichester Cinema at New Park, the city’s independent cinema, will screen the special anniversary film on the exact date it was screened locally in 1916. The British Film Institute’s The Battle of the Somme was a propaganda film commissioned by Lloyd George.

“Shot by two official cinematographers, Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell, the film depicts the British Army’s preparations for, and the early stages of, the battle of the Somme. Since then, debate has raged over the only combat footage of the battle. Is the footage real or is it propaganda? For the first time a team of First World War investigators is trying to do what no one has ever done – use forensic science to solve a 100-year-old mystery trapped on film. On that day in 1916, men from the First Newfoundland Regiment went over the trenches and into history. They were virtually wiped out. This film gives the opportunity for the descendants of those brave men to march back in time to find out what they went through, the silent film shot on The Somme surrenders its secrets. Together they reveal what really happened on that fateful day.” Tickets via www.chichestercinema.org online booking and reservable seats; box office 01243 786650 or visit the cinema. Chichester Cinema at New Park, New Park Road, Chichester, PO19 7XY.

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