Telling granddad's war stories

Director Sam Mendes' 1917 is based on the tales he heard from his grandfather, who served as a lance corporal messenger during World War I

1917 stars Dean-Charles Chapman as Lance Corporal Blake, who has to cross enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save the lives of 1,600 soldiers.
1917 stars Dean-Charles Chapman as Lance Corporal Blake, who has to cross enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save the lives of 1,600 soldiers. PHOTO: UIP

Family histories loom large in 1917, the latest movie from director Sam Mendes, which tells the story of two young British soldiers dispatched on a crucial mission during World War I.

Mendes' grandfather, the late Alfred H. Mendes, served as a lance corporal messenger during the bloody conflict and it was his tales from the Western Front - a military frontier to the west of Germany - that inspired the director's decision to make the film.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2020, with the headline 'Telling granddad's war stories'. Subscribe