Documentary, Archive, History, War
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Click here to watch Mia Bays of Birds Eye View in conversation with Asunder director Esther Johnson.
Asunder tells the story of what happened to an English town during the First World War, with almost all of its men abroad fighting and its women and children left behind. The North East was in the front line, thanks to its shipyards and munitions factories. Using archive and contemporary footage and audio, Asunder collages the stories of people from Tyneside and Wearside to uncover what life was like on the home front, with bombs falling on Britain for the first time, conscientious objectors sentenced to death, and women working as doctors, tram conductors and footballers.
The narrative moves from an Edwardian golden era, in which sport grew in popularity and aircraft and cars pointed to a bright new future, to a war that horrifically reversed this progress.
The soundtrack is composed by Sunderland’s Mercury-nominated Field Music and Newcastle’s Warm Digits, performed with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and The Cornshed Sisters.The narration for the film is voiced by journalist Kate Adie, with the actor Alun Armstrong as the voice of The Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette.
Asunder is Co-commissioned by Sunderland Cultural Partnership and 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions
“Asunder is a powerful fusion of the historical with the contemporary, a lyrical work that lingers long in the imagination” - Morning Star.
”…montage shots of residential streets, the remnants of industry… fashion a meticulous mosaic of themed segments captured with Johnson’s trademark painterly eye for detail” - The Culture Vulture.