Asunder is a unique documentary that uses narration as well as a mixture of archive and contemporary footage to tell the story of what happened to an English town during the First World War, with almost all of its men abroad fighting and its women and children left behind.
Asunder uses footage from 96 separate archive films to collage together the stories of people from Tyneside and Wearside to uncover what life was like on the home front, with bombs falling on Britain for the first time, conscientious objectors sentenced to death, and women working as doctors, tram conductors and footballers.
The narrative moves from an Edwardian golden era, in which sport grew in popularity and aircraft and cars pointed to a bright new future, to a war that horrifically reversed this progress.
In the Battle of the Somme, commencing on 1 July 1916, British, French and German armies fought one of the most traumatic battles in military history. Over the course of just four months, more than one million soldiers were captured, wounded or killed in a confrontation of unimaginable horror.
The narration for the film is voiced by journalist Kate Adie, with Alun Armstrong as the voice of the Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette.
A film by Esther Johnson, with a soundtrack composed by Sunderland’s Mercury-nominated Field Music and Newcastle’s Warm Digits, performed with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and The Cornshed Sisters.
“A fascinating kaleidoscope of archive and modern footage” Chronicle Live ★★★★★
“A lyrical work that lingers long in the imagination” Morning Star