The Fallen

I wonder if anyone else watched this. It was a 3 hour documentary which looked at the families left behind by the British dead who have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last 7 years. One’s views on the rights and wrongs of war are irrelevant – this documentary was about the grief and loss of those left behind. The group of people behind the headlines whose lives are smashed into a thousand pieces. This documentary is their story, and of how they cope (or don’t cope).

It was probably the most powerful documentary I’ve watched in recent years. Absolutely heart-rending. And from a documentary perspective it was a work of art – all classes, all types of people shared their loss ranging from the upper classes to the very poorest of Britain’s working class; the sniper’s bullet doesn’t discriminate. The names of all 300 British war dead were highlighted, interspersed with personal stories.

I missed it last night but watched it today on BBC iPlayer. Yes, it’s 3 hours long, but the director quite rightly didn’t cut corners with so important a subject.

Devastatingly poignant on so many levels. It has left a lasting impression on me.

A powerful and poignant film in which families and friends of those who have died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq talk openly about their loved ones and their grief. Epic in scale and spanning seven years of war, this landmark three-hour film gives a rare insight into the personal impact and legacy of this loss.

Alongside intimate testimonies from families who have lost loved ones, The Fallen names every single serviceman and woman who has died while serving with the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.

Made by acclaimed filmmaker Morgan Matthews, The Fallen takes us across Britain and into the homes of those who have lost loved ones. The film also uses cherished personal home movie footage featuring those who have died as well as archive footage, leaving a lasting impression of their lives both inside and out of the armed forces. Source: BBC

Read more about it on The Times website.

Watch it on BBC iPlayer (UK residents only).

PS As I write this with the BBC news on in the background, there is a story of another British death in Afghanistan today. Another family’s life destroyed…

3 thoughts on “The Fallen

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  1. Lula – oh that bit was heartbreaking. The twin who lost his brother who was at his bedside when he died. So many of the stories were heart-rending. Incredibly powerful I still feel quite haunted by it. They died in ‘our’ name, after all.

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