War Requiem (film)

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War Requiem
Directed byDerek Jarman
Produced byDon Boyd
Screenplay byDerek Jarman
Based onWar Requiem
by Benjamin Britten
Music byBenjamin Britten
CinematographyRichard Greatrex
Edited byRick Elgood
Release date
6 January 1989
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

War Requiem is a 1989 film adaptation of Benjamin Britten's musical piece of the same name.

It was shot in 1988 by the British film director Derek Jarman with the 1963 recording as the soundtrack, produced by Don Boyd and financed by the BBC. Decca Records required that the 1963 recording be heard on its own, with no overlaid soundtrack or other sound effects.[1][2] The film featured Nathaniel Parker as Wilfred Owen, and Laurence Olivier in his last acting appearance in any medium before his death in July 1989. The film is structured as the reminiscences of Olivier's character, the Old Soldier in a wheelchair, and Olivier recites "Strange Meeting" in the film's prologue.[1]



Shooting for the film took place at Darenth Park Hospital in Kent,[1] beginning 17 October 1988 and lasting for 18 days. It was released on the following dates in English-speaking countries:


The film was released on VHS and Laserdisc in 1990, but because of its limited release, copies are quite rare. A US (Region 1/NTSC) DVD is available from Kino International.[4] The film has been released on UK Region 2 DVD featuring a Making of War Requiem documentary and interviews with Swinton, Parker and Don Boyd (who also provides an audio commentary). A DVD has also been released in Japan.


  1. ^ a b c Cooke, Mervyn, Britten: "War Requiem". Cambridge Music Handbook, 1996 (ISBN 0521440890).
  2. ^ "BFI War Requiem". BFI screenonline. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  3. ^ Vincent Canby (26 January 1990). "Britten's 'War Requiem,' To Images by Derek Jarman". New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2008.
  4. ^ "War Requiem DVD (UPC 7-38329-06212-5)". kino.com. Kino International. Retrieved 11 November 2011.

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