Magazine article History Today

'Almost Perfect' Film: History Today Announces Its Prize for the Best History on Television in the Last Year

Magazine article History Today

'Almost Perfect' Film: History Today Announces Its Prize for the Best History on Television in the Last Year

Article excerpt

THE HISTORY TODAY FILM OF THE YEAR Prize was awarded to Dunkirk: The Soldier's Story, made by Peter Gordon and shown on BBC2 in February. The film, made with the assistance of the Dunkirk Veterans' Project, tells the story through the eyes of men who were there, contrasting the relentlessly upbeat tone of the newsreels with the chaotic and distressing reality recalled by the veterans in what was their First experience of modern mechanised warfare. The film was directed by Peter Gordon and produced by Marc Goodchild.

This year, for the first time, the prize was given in conjunction with the Grierson Trust, a body named in memory of the Canadian documentary-maker John Grierson, and which gives prizes for a wide range of broadcast documentaries. Its history category seeks to reward films that use the historical record carefully and sensitively and yet are appealing and innovative.

Angela Holdsworth, chairman of the judges, said, 'It's not often we see an almost perfect historical documentary. But this year's winner seemed to us to be just that. It didn't attempt to push the frontiers by telling history in a new way. Nor did it run for twice the time it deserved. It was simply neatly structured, well-balanced film, with a clear narrative and, above all, extraordinary interviews. …

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