Jarman's finest work to date takes as its soundtrack/ score Benjamin Britten's masterly religious poetic choral work. A work of unrelieved mourning - an unfashionable sentiment - it mingles Wilfred Owen's World War One poems (written in the trenches) with the text of the Latin mass. The score is complex, long, non-narrative, and uninterrupted, which demands much of Jarman; and he delivers. His script subtly intertwines the poems' slight strains of a story - guns, dying, death, hell, loss, and reconciliation - with imagined scenes around the poet at war, along with cruelly honest, uncensored found footage of wars distant and current. He also wrings remarkable silent performances from Swinton, who embodies the awful roles traditionally allotted the female principle in war; from Parker as the poet; and Teale as an unknown soldier transmuted by war.
Cast and crew