What Manner of Men

December 19th, 2013, 8pm

Last night my son and I went to a film première!

There was no red carpet, but it was in a building right next to the famous O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula, so the setting was quite grand.

A friend - well, acquaintance really, although a brother in spiritual terms - had invited me and a number of others to watch the first full showing of his new production, entitled What Manner of Men.

Made with funding raised via Kickstarter in the UK, the short film (19 minutes) is a fictional account of a pilot who “finds himself in a brutal fight on the ground, fighting a losing battle against superior German opposition. Can he persuade a stubborn handful of Airborne soldiers to surrender before it is too late?”

Josh explained that he wanted to explore the courage of the Paratroopers who were dropped over Arnhem in September 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden, especially as they realised that they were on their own and that things were not going to go as planned. The Operation is seen by historians as a failure, but this means that the bravery and heroism of the men who fought (and died) there is often forgotten, something that Josh wanted to address in time for the 70th anniversary in 2014.

The title is taken from a speech that Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery gave concerning the newly-formed Parachute Regiment, in which he asked: “What manner of men are these who wear the maroon red beret?…”. He went on to answer that question in this way: “They are firstly all volunteers, and are then toughened by hard physical training. As a result they have that infectious optimism and that offensive eagerness which comes from physical well being. They have jumped from the air and by doing so have conquered fear. Their duty lies in the van of the battle: they are proud of this honour and have never failed in any task. They have the highest standards in all things, whether it be skill in battle or smartness in the execution of all peace time duties. They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in attack. They are, in fact, men apart - every man an Emperor.”.

josh-fortune.jpgJosh himself was a Paratrooper, but had to leave due to injury just as his fellow paras were heading off to Afghanistan, something that he found very hard to deal with. But he was later given an opportunity to go as a cameraman, and ended up spending three years there, working for a company that was producing material for NatoTV and for news corporations around the world. He has written a book covering his time there which is well worth a read: Three Years at War: The Diary of a Cameraman in Afghanistan.

For a very limited time you can view the film here: http://vimeo.com/82169418.

Cassie said thanks.

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Adrian Tribe

A follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and father, a Kentish Man (not a Man of Kent), a commuter to London

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