The most moving war films to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day

Dunkirk is rightly remembered as a triumph of a particularly British type of bravery; the utter desperate eccentricity of sending more than 800 boats, some of them barely bigger than day cruisers, across the Channel to evacuate hundreds of thousands of soldiers trapped on the beaches. The original immersive war movie – the first ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan are some of the most memorable put to screen, following US forces arriving on Omaha Beach during the Normandy landings. The 1981 movie follows a German crew – who are openly critical of Hitler and the Nazis – as they prowl the Atlantic Ocean in a U Boat and engage in brutal conflict. While the action istense and harrowing, the down time among the crew hits home almost as hard – portraying the sheer mundanity of war for many of the people involved. The film articulated the unimaginable experiences of so many people during the warwith great sensitivity, and Adrien Brody delivered a towering central performance full of heartbreaking pathos. Though the film traded accuracy for Hollywood glamour (that motorcycle, sadly is pure fiction), the bones ofit aretrue, as is the tragic end; while 76 men did escape Stalag Luft III, 73 were recaptured, and 50 were executed. Steven Spielberg’s unforgettable drama told the story of Oskar Schindler – the German businessman who saved hundreds of child refugees during the conflict by employing them in his factories. It hitting on an emotional level that few films have achieved before orsince, andnever shied away from portraying its subject matter in the revealing light it deserved. The movie follows the construction of the Burma railway stretching between Bangkok and Rangoon, focusing on the British officers in a Japanese prisoner of war camp who built it. With their efforts as soldiers inthe conflict cut short, we see the British forces learn to adapt to the new task at hand, dealing with their captors, trying to avoid the Oven (a metal hut which prisoners are lockedinsideto roast in the heat of the sun) and reflecting on the madness of war.