Film depicting some of the tragic human aftermath of World War I
France Date:1920 Duration:4 min 24 sec Sound:NO SOUND
A film looking at some of the tragic human costs of World War 1 ("The Great War"). Opening slates read, (in French) "What the war has left behind it." "9 million dead." Then, a vast battlefield cemetery is shown,filled with rough wooden crosses. Camera pans over parts of it. Another, better tended cemetery is seen with finer crosses. Then another battlefield graveyard, with freshly dug graves and rough markers is shown. Slate reads, "The sea, a vast tomb." Another slate reads, millions of crippled," followed by scenes of Allied soldiers and medics, carrying their gear, across a barren battlefield. One rough cross is seen.In next scene it is clear they are scouring the battlefield for wounded and dead. Stretcher bearers make their way cautiously across ditches and makeshift bridges as they retrieve the wounded. Two assist a walking wounded soldier with bandaged eyes. Wounded seen being brought into a sandbagged brick building serving as a hospital. A field ambulance also takes patients from the hospital. A convoy of field ambulances carry wounded from the battlefields. A two-stacker British hospital ship steaming at high speed away from a French port, headed for England. Wounded British war veterans being moved in wicker wheel chairs outside a substantial building. Uniformed attendant picks one up bodily and places him into another wicker wheel chair that allows his legs to be outstretched. The attendant covers him with a blanket. Next, that veteran is seen, conversing with a men, in an outdoor area, where other wheel-chair bound veterans are enjoying small flower gardens and socializing in the sunshine. A white-coated caregiver assists a stooped veteran who takes many small steps to walk. Next is seen the famous 1919 painting by John Singer Sargeant, of blinded soldiers on the battlefield, titled, "Gassed." (It is now in the British Imperial War Museum.) Slate reads "They'll never see again," and several blind veterans are seen in dark glasses walking outdoors in the company of others. Blind veterans are seen making baskets by hand.
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