Creating Models of the Past: Reconstructing the Battle of Arnhem 1944 in Film


In this unit, students look at the use of film in creating models of the past.  In this case, we look at how the battle of Arnhem has been reconstructed in two films.  The first is the 1946 film “Theirs is the Glory” which was filmed with no actors.  Instead, veterans played themselves and people they were directly related to, often fighting from their original fox holes.  The second film is David Attenborough’s 1976 classic “A Bridge Too Far.” Again, this movie was filmed on location at or near where events actually occurred in September 1944.

It is not necessary for students to watch this second film, although they are free to do so.  They will look at it through a number of short critical documentaries.  Both films will be compared to a short family documentary shot by Dutch civilians on Sunday, 17 September 1944 that presents the British airborne advance through the experience of Dutch civilians.  The unit centres around 6 activities, involving critical analysis and evaluation of evidence and a geographical study of the area covered in the unit via satellite image available through Google Maps.

Unit Skills and Objectives