Watch A Foreign Field
- 1 hr 35 min
A Foreign Field is a touching and poignant war movie that takes place decades after World War II has ended. The film touches on themes of loss, grief, and reconciliation, as a group of war veterans from both sides of the conflict come together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a decisive battle. The plot of the film revolves around the arrival of four aging British veterans (played by Alec Guinness, Leo McKern, Edward Herrmann, and John Randolph) to Normandy, where they intend to visit the graves of their fallen comrades. While there, they meet a Frenchwoman named Martine (Jeanne Moreau), who is tending to the graves of her own loved ones. Despite the language barrier, the group quickly befriends Martine, and they share stories and memories of the war.
As the group discusses their experiences, it becomes clear that they all carry profound emotional scars from the war, in different ways. Among them is a former soldier named Henry (Guinness), who is haunted by the memory of a Frenchwoman he fell in love with during the war. He is eager to find her and try to make amends for the pain he caused her. Meanwhile, Martine is revealed to have her own deep-seated grief and trauma related to the war.
Throughout the film, the group confronts the aftermath of war, and grapple with questions of forgiveness and healing as they travel through the beautiful French countryside. The scenery provides a sharp contrast to the horrors of war they experienced, and they even take time to enjoy some local delicacies and relax in the peaceful surroundings.
The movie is sensitively directed by Charles Sturridge, who eschews any battle scenes for a more contemplative exploration of the effects of war on the human psyche. The scenes between the veterans are particularly powerful, as they share their pain, loss, and regrets. Guinness in particular delivers a standout performance as the guilt-ridden Henry. McKern and Hermann bring levity and warmth to the film, while Randolph imbues his character with strong emotions and deep wounds.
A Foreign Field also boasts an outstanding supporting cast, including French actress Moreau, who shines as the melancholic Martine, and Lauren Bacall, whose brief appearance is a highlight of the film. The score, composed by Michael Kamen, beautifully complements the movie's emotional tone, emphasizing the sadness and pain of the characters' experiences.
Although the film takes place in the aftermath of WWII, it is not overly focused on the historical context, instead choosing to focus on the personal aftermath. This provides a refreshing take on the war movie genre, eschewing the typical action sequences in favor of a more contemplative exploration of the lasting effects of trauma.
Overall, A Foreign Field is a moving and beautifully crafted film that deals with difficult themes with sensitivity and grace. It is a stirring testament to the enduring human spirit and the power of forgiveness, one that will linger in the viewer's heart long after the credits roll.