Hymn of Hate by Matt Kennard

Hymn of Hate by Matt Kennard

Our first screening by Matt Kennard is his debut directed film called Hymn of Hate which is set during World War I in 1916, somewhere in the undamaged countryside of No Mans Land in The Somme.

The title was chosen after Kennard had written the script and read the poem by Ernst Lissauer called Hymn of Hate previously it had been just named No Mans Land.

The moving story of three soldiers on the battlefield begins without any words for quite a few moments. We watch the Sargeant and soldier make their way across a field watching out for signs of German soldiers.

The main body of this film takes place during an encounter with a German soldier. The young English soldier suddenly stops. The concerned look combined with the downward beckoning of his head alerts the English Sargeant to the German Sargeant led injured on the floor with his weapon pointing up.

Tensions rise between the three soldiers as a potentially volatile situation begins to take hold. The younger soldier notices he can speak English and defies his Sargeant’s order to move lower down to listen to him.

The film switches from the potential of gunfire to an exchanging of friendlier dialogue. The men exchange photographs and tell each other about their wives and children. This film focuses on the uniting of human beings who underneath the enemy uniforms share similar loves and lives.

A very heartfelt and moving film set in a brief moment during a long war. I am sure there were many of these brief moments where enemies became united during this war and the previous and present wars too.

A heartfelt and moving short film. Poignantly made to mark the hundred year anniversary of World War 1.

By Elaine Chapman

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