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Day #330/365: Resistance and the tenuousness of bonds…

Resistance-2011-film-Owen Sheers-A Year In The Country-2File under: Trails and Influences: Touchstones. Case #40/52.

Well, while I’m talking about posters/packaging that attempt to make a celluloid tale appear to be that which it is not (see Day #311/365)..

I have something of a soft spot for fictional tales that deal with alternative timelines, their sense of “what if?” sending the mind a-wandering, in a way that I expect has its roots many years back in my reading/viewing habits.

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Resistance from 2011 is one such story.

It is set in a Britain in 1944, after D-Day has failed and Germany has invaded this island state.

Generally you would expect such stories to concentrate on epic battles and changes within and around urban areas, the massive changes that such an event would bring about, the associated pomp and glory…

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… but Resistance is different. It’s a low-key film set in a small rural community. The invasion force is a small, almost unobtrusive group of men and in some ways life carries on as before, the fields, flocks and stone walls remaining impassive in the face of man’s viciousness over management styles/rights/use and abuses of the above.

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(In some ways, thinking back to the film it reminds me of The Wall/Die Wand – see Day #13/365 – in that this is speculative/science fiction of a pastoral nature, gentler – in terms of spectacle at least – than many of its urban/future/post-civilisation set brethren.

You could also draw a line back to another set of fields in this land, Winstanley -see Day #78/365 – and interelated speculative fiction as the directors of that particular celluloid tale, Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo, also made It Happened Here, which dealt with a similar alternative timeline of a successful invasion of Britain by Germany but one which concentrated on urban/capital events…)

Resistance-2011-film-Owen Sheers-A Year In The Country-5There’s something jarring, unsettling in seeing this invasion force in amongst such a setting. In seeing the familiar iconography of that particular power in a traditional low-roofed cottage or amongst a country fair; what do rosettes now mean in such times?

Seeing such things here, in amongst the endlessness of nature and the land, seeing sten guns next to shire horses, watching how life adjusts, moves and accommodates the new realities in a pastoral setting – as opposed to the more expected filmic tropes of heroic resistance in cities and towns – invokes a quiet disturbance as a viewer, it is subtly shocking and questioning.

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One of the things the film made me think about is how those realities/the rule of law of those now in power would take form further away from the roots and power bases in the cities; in a way it makes me think of the differences between societies based around folk/the wald/the wild wood in contrast to those which draw from pop/populous/city (see Day #40/365) and the more flexible, tenuousness of such bonds (threads?) as you move away from the denser urban areas, particularly at such times… almost harking towards a return to earlier, feudal times and ways of being.

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View the cinematic foretelling here.

Visit the place from which the story sprung here.


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