20 February 2012

For Your Tomorrow - The Forgotten Army and the 21st Century

For Your Tomorrow examines the torrid Burma campaign of World War Two, through the words of the men who fought, & the eyes of the 21st Century youngsters whose freedom they guaranteed.

This war documentary will take you on an exploration of how we value the actions of a group of now elderly men who fought for our freedom in the middle of the last century. It's a different approach to the subject of war, examining how much (or little) modern youngsters know about the incredible experiences of their grandfathers' generation.

This documentary draws on the experiences of a group of men in the torrid Burma war, but their tales serve as a microcosm of worldwide events during World War Two.

Ben, 19, is an intelligent & likeable young man. Although he knows that his great-grandfather was killed as part of the Second World War's "Forgotten Army" in Burma during 1945, he knows very little else.

Pamela, 28, is a vivacious & creative artistic director, who is putting on a play about wartime experiences in her local town. Her late grandfather fought as a Chindit in Burma, & she also knows little of his experience.

For Your Tomorrow examines the torrid Burma campaign of World War Two, through the words of the men who fought, & the eyes of the 21st Century youngsters whose freedom they guaranteed.

The defence of Burma & India against the seemingly unstoppable advance of a ferocious Japanese military was an event which helped turn the course of the Second World War, yet was, & still is, almost unrecognised by much of the free world. The Forgotten Army, as they became known, were fighting a formidable enemy, often in awful & alien tropical jungle conditions, & handicapped by undersupply. the Burma campaign united troops from the entire British Empire, and the incredible exploits of Chindits and Gurkhas became legend.

Many of the surviving men still suffer today from diseases & parasites which they picked up in the jungles & swamps of Burma nearly 70 years ago. Many survived only because they adopted a 'kill or be killed' attitude. Many did have to kill. Most lost friends & comrades.

Producer & Director Don Clark:

"I was privileged to be allowed to conduct interviews with a group of these wonderful men, including men of the Chindit Operations - the first examples of a deep penetration force - operating behind Japanese lines in jungle conditions.

I was often the very first person to whom they broke a code of silence which they had held ever since the war ended- not even their wives & loved ones had heard their tales. I recorded their testimonies, on camera, originally with the intention of merely creating some sort of archive so that future generations would know something of the story of these unknown heroes of Burma.

But it became obvious over the 6 years that I spent time, on & off, with these men, that there was an urgent need to not only preserve their individual interviews for posterity, but to ask questions about our society's knowledge of the enormity of the sacrifices they made for us & the generations still to come.

We were able to take Ben & Pamela on a journey which connects them to the generation whose bravery made their society stable & secure. Men who are now in their eighties & nineties, but who were perhaps Ben's age when they were conscripted, come alive when they talk of 'their' war, & the youngsters are stirred from their personal comfort zones. We as viewers all participate; we all learn."

For Your Tomorrow is a 68 minute documentary film, and the newly available DVD contains about an hour of bonus features, which will not be available to see either in the cinema screenings or TV broadcasts of the film.

You can watch the trailer below, and view or order the DVD from the film website.

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