Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Testament of Youth

I admit I decided to watch Testament of Youth, because Kit Harington plays one of the characters. I can be shallow, (I usually look for stories that will improve my mood rather than stories that make me want to cry) which is why I never stopped to check what the film is about. I did not expect this story behind the film poster presented on IMDB. There is no way back now though. I saw it, and it left me with a lump in my throat. 

This story is about a young British girl, who wants to become writer. She fights her father to let her go to Oxford. She's very close to her younger brother, Edward, who has high hopes for her and fights to get her into a school as well. He sees how hard she works. Trying to make it in a world dominated by men. After taking an admission exam, she is allowed to go to Oxford. Vera falls in love with one of Edward's friends, Roland. Together with him she is planning on going to the University of Oxford. However that's when the first world war begins and Roland goes to France instead, at the very beginning of the war. Not long after Edward also sets out to go to war along with some of his friends. Vera decides to become a nurse, for the time being. She wants to be useful too, like her brother and her friends. I think we all know how 'story' of the first world war ends, and considering this story was based on a memoir written by Vera Brittain, I don't think I have to tell you what happens in this particular story. We know how devastating and unfortunate war can be..
I cannot be the only one who watches war films and thinks: no. I will not go through this. I will not lose my brothers, my love, my friends and family. I will not send them off to fight others who also have a family back home. I will do no such thing, because I do not want anyone to do it to me. Yet everyday I also worry that we are getting closer to it again. If we go towards that now, it won't go the same way. It won't be a matter of one life for another. We won't fight each other man to man. We would drop bombs, unable to count the people lost because of a single bomb. There won't be nurses trying to safe those who are wounded, because no one would survive such a fatal strike. There would be no letters to let us know someone we loved has died, because the bodies will be lost. There will be nothing left to identify. There must be someone out there, saying no. Thinking no. Hoping no, just like me. I know I said I can't change things and therefore I will focus on things I can change.. like passing my exam tomorrow. But that doesn't mean I don't worry about it, because I do.