10 MARCH 1928, Page 11

The Cinema


THIS German official War film, edited by Mr. Boyd Cable, is the first film to be shown in England composed of a series of pictures actually taken during the War. For this reason it is not to be compared from the point of view of production with any of the very fine British or American War films. There is no spectacular photography ; the scenes are often lamentably blurred and confused ; there is no little French girl waiting behind the lines ; there is, in fact, no story but that of the terrible advance of the Germans during• the summer of 1914. The truth is told with absolute.. fidelity, from the German point of view. We see in detail the invasion of Belgium, the advance of the German armies on Paris, and their sudden change of tactics which resulted in the Marne and the beginning of trench warfare.

The film is illustrated by maps giving the relative positions of the Allied and German armies and motion diagrams showing the transference of troops, so that the military history of the first year of the War is definitely illuminated.. Not only are the events on the Western Front dealt with, but there arc wonderfully good photographs and maps of events in the East—Hindenburg's manoeuvres against the advancing Russian army are excellently shown—linking up very ably the two fronts. _

There is no sob stuff or emotional a_ppeal in this film. Its pre- occupation with the strategical side of the War.prevents that. The audience can see this picture of the War "through German

eyes " completely dispassionately. Jf war films—which Cannot fail to be controversial—are to be shown at all, then this film is an example of the least aggressive manner tor their presentation. The captions are quotations from official German documents and are interesting in their German interpretation of events we all know so well, and often interpret so differently. It was a pity that throughout the film the guns did not cease their deafening roar, but perhaps this added to the " atmosphere " of the picture.