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lancaster

★★★★★

documentary

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Documentary that explores the story of the Lancaster Bomber, synonymous with the Dambusters and night raids on Nazi Germany.

Starting with ‘The Blitz’, we follow our 38 contributors as they join-up, learn to fly and go to war. With the enemy strong and RAF Bomber Command badly equipped, losses were high. But eventually the tide turned with the introduction of the ‘Lanc’.

 

Designed to take the war to the enemy - and to win it – the Lancaster was both loved and feared by aircrews and the enemy. From the firestorms of Hamburg, through the famous Dambuster raids and the still-controversial bombing of Dresden, emotional testimonies tell of courage, fear, friendship and moral ambiguity.

 

For a film that only runs for just under two hours, Lancaster is packed to the gunnels with information and real life accounts, giving the audience a detailed view of the Lancaster bombers and all those who flew in her. 

 

It begins by documenting the political and dire military situation Britain faced early on in the war, and the need to respond to the German Luftwaffe’s nightly bombing raids. We learn of the Lancaster's ingenious design and the many missions that it went on including it’s most famous: Operation Chastise, the bombing raid made famous by the bouncing bombs of the Dambusters. 

 

But it’s the human cost that hits you like an emotional ton of bricks. The morally ambiguous question of whether it was right to bomb civilian targets still haunt some of the veteran contributors. The cost was more than just a physical one. We also witness tales of the many men lost, who didn’t return home. 

 

Also, which is rare for a documentary of its kind, Lancaster interviews a German witness and a survivor of the German bombings. It’s one of the most arresting interviews you’ll see in a long time. 

 

More than just a glorified celebration of the Lancaster and her bombing crews, Lancaster not only documents the lives and missions of her crew, but probes bigger moral questions. One of 2022’s best.  

★★★★★