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4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

Welsh villagers face Nazi occupation in this counterfactual historical drama based on Owen Sheers’s novel. It’s 1944, D-Day has failed and German troops are occupying Britain. Andrea Riseborough (pictured right) is Sarah, a principled young woman who wakes to find her husband missing, along with the other men in the village. Soon German officers are setting up a local observation post, seeking shelter and food and forming tentative bonds with the conflicted, overworked women and children. Meanwhile, the resistance is building momentum and the penalty for collaboration is death.

It’s an intriguing premise given a tangibly creepy atmosphere by debut director Amit Gupta: the tone shifts from almost paranormal thriller to war movie to love story and back. It’s a quietly confident feature that provokes thought about loyalties, humanity and sacrifice in a subtly fresh context. There’s strong support from a familiar cast including Michael Sheen, Kimberley Nixon (‘Fresh Meat’) and Iwan Rheon (‘Misfits’) although several characters’ stories feel tantalisingly half told. The central relationship between Riseborough’s Sarah and Tom Wlaschiha’s officer Albrecht is loaded with tension and masterfully performed.

Release Details

  • Rated:PG
  • Release date:Friday 25 November 2011
  • Duration:92 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Amit Gupta
  • Screenwriter:Owen Sheers
  • Cast:
    • Andrea Riseborough
    • Michael Sheen
    • Kimberley Nixon
    • Iwan Rheon
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