An unprecedented hit with audiences upon its release in 1916, The Battle of the Somme has played an integral role in film history. In addition to pioneering the battlefield documentary genre, it was also instrumental in the development of the use of cinema as a propaganda tool, and its influence can be seen in documentary filmmaking across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In 2005 the film’s iconic stature was formally recognised through its addition to the UNESCO ‘Memory of the World’ register.
To accompany the release of its digitally restored DVD edition of The Battle of the Somme, the Imperial War Museum has created a number of free resources, including biographies of the crew, a detailed viewing guide and notes for teachers, all of which are available for download below. To purchase a copy of the DVD, please visit the Museum Shop.
Viewing Guide PDF download (updated December 2008)
Further reading guide - to be published here shortly.