The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
A wonderful title for this lightweight film starring several of my favourite actors, and I must say the unknown (to me at least) actor children played their roles very well. The film is not primarily about war, it is more about survival, companionship and community in the face of deprivation and persecution, and the very real value of reading as a means of relief. The romantic involvement is painfully predictable, but the film has a feel good factor and is humorous. I was in the mood for something easy on the intellect so I enjoyed it. Two short films were shown before the interval, one about the hurried evacuation of Channel Island children just a few days before the Germans arrived. I was shocked to learn that some parents had no communication with their children for up to six years. What torture that must have been. The other film dealt with the patriotism of the Islanders and their joyous reception of George VI and Queen Elizabeth soon after the liberation, and then subsequent visits by the Queen Mother to Guernsey. A group of ten had a lively discussion at the end of the evening. Only three of us liked the film but most thought it had good parts which they wished could have been expanded. Many thought the film would have been better as a war film instead of being a series of flashbacks incorporating old footage of the Nazis, but that in my opinion would be an entirely different film. We all enjoyed the views in and around Guernsey and the beautiful scenery. Although I and some others knew something of the German Occupation, none of us had realised quite to what extent the islanders had suffered, their near starvation, deprivation and meagreness of possessions, nor did we know much about the slaves brought in to build the fortification turrets and tunnels. The Germans had in effect built a prison, but ironically, they too were locked in. Sonia
This film is most noteworthy for me for drawing our largest audience yet: 108. While it is gratifying that so many people came, and all that spoke to me after enjoyed it, the fact that we have just 100 seats currently has prevoked a meeting of trustees to determine how to handle the potentially unpleasant consequences of having more potential audience than seats. As for the film, what others call lightweight and predictable, I call entertainment. It is not a memorable film but it was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. I delighted in seeing Penelope Wilton 30 years on from my first encounter in a TV rom com. Eugene.